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— urbantick

Tag "commuting"

In the serie on cycle disruption here is a new one on the latest tube strike in London today. It is the first morning into the tube strike and chaos is rolling into the city. Some earlier posts on the subject in the past can be found HERE (following the disruption), HERE (disruption second take) and HERE (every year). There are only very few tube line actually running a service, Northern Line being one of them. However this might not mean that you can get a train on this line and it aso does not mean you will arrive at the desired destination as many stations along the line are closed.

For the latest updates on the open stations please see the official TFL website.

Image taken from the BBC London Tube Strike Map – September 2010 / a platform for crowd sourced real time travel information.

But even there you might not get the most up to date information. If you put more trust in real time crown sourced information you can go to the BBC test mashup-crownsource-tubestrike-map and click around for infos on our local area.

There are a number of ways you can participate: a) Sending an email to londontravel@bbc.co.uk, b) Sending a text to 81333 starting your message LONDON STRIKE, c) Sending a tweet with the hashtag #tubestrike, d) Uploading an audioboo with the hashtag #tubestrike or directly to the BBC London stream, e) Filling in the form on the site

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The page is set up to log incidents over a longer period of time. The timeline is set for a whole year. There is even a play back feature integrated that wil replay the information logged and can potentially visualised the ebb and flows of the system. Currently there seems only data available from today so no point replaying it, but in a month time this might be very interesting already. The project could grow into a valuable alternative to the official information.

Reports are logged on the site and can be accessed. In this sense everyone has access to the source data and can verify the accuracy of the information. This a note in the light of the recent discussion about the validation of the crowd sourced data at the CRESC conference in Oxford. Making the data available is one way of dealing with this issue. However if the amount of data grow too large, and hopefully it will in the case of crowd sourced real time transport information, it becomes impossible for individuals to crawl through the mountain of snippets and verify individual pieces.

Image taken from the Oliver O’Brien’s cycle hire visualisation / London Cycle Hire Dock Status Map taken on Tuesday 07th September 2010 09h30.

Since there is little progress to be made today on public trasport the London Cycle Hire scheme would be a perfect alternative. A quick look at the viualisation map over at Oiver O’Brien’s page draws a rather pessimistic picture. The scheme has sort of come to a lock down too with all bikes being parked in the centre and empty station in zone two. People who have planned ahead managed to grab one this morning and traveled in by bike. There will be the big run this afternoon to catch one of the central bikes to ride it back out again to avoid the long queues at the crowded bus stop.

On twitter the tube strike is a big topic with alo Steven Fry taking to it linking this 2006 clip on frustrated commuters and the perceived incapability of TFL to meet their needs. This is linked without comment, this discussion is too complicated and personal. I believe, from past experience, the staff working today are doing quite a good job given the extend of the shutdown.

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It is tight in the morning in many senses, body and time are only two examples. Commuting is the result of this. The motion plays a big part on this as a summary of both time and body. Space could then be described as the movement, meaning that commuting actually creates space.
Yi-Fu Tuan describes this nicely in his book Space and Place (1977), he distinguishes between space and place as motion and rest.
I am currently writing on this topic for my upgrade the coming month and have come a cross a really nice movie clip to visualize some aspects of this discussion. Amazingly this video is very popular and I don’t think all these fans are enthusiastic modern dancers, but commuters who feel represented .

The Body Morphic from Indelible Dance on Vimeo.

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Time as an element of space (simplification) is a tricky thing. Mapping the time is even worse. It pops up here and there and some nice example have been developed recently, mainly in connection with digital application. A series of posts on this blog have been dedicated to this problem. There was an early one on aquarium and one on different aproaches that I have tried with my data and an other one with examples of software to deal with this.

Image from strange maps – Dicken and Lloyd 1981

Interesting on those time space maps really is how a distorted image emerges. Space, or better the shape we know looks different as distances become longer or shorter due to the aspect of time it takes to travel it. On the above map the South East of England almost vanishes as it is quite accessible from London where as western and northern areas are quite stretched out.
Since 1981 the Eurostar Tunnel has been opened and travel times to mainland Europe have changed. Paris is only just under two hours away from London these days. For the construction of Euralille the leading planning office OMA has produced a set of nice graphics visualizing how Europe moves closer together with the Eurostar and TGV network expansion.
Time can also be a very interesting on a smaller scale. Again OMA used it during the planning of a project in Yokohama. It was part of the programming process. Mapping the different uses over twenty-four hours gave a good insight on how the development will be used. Density and location are adjusted as needed.

Image taken from S M L XL Project – Euralille Project and Yokohama project timetable.

The use of technology such as GIS, database and mapping services such as Google Maps, Yahoo Maps or Open Street Map have give rise to a new breed of interactive time maps on the internet. One such example on London commuting times can be seen here. You can use the two sliders above the map to adjust desired travel time and property prices. The visualization is based on excluding information. The map does not distort as seen above, the sliders basically simply direct a black overlay that turns areas of the map invisible. In this sense it is a rather simple visualization. But it gives a good sense of the geographical area that a certain time frame applies to. Mainly for map reading trained people though. For others this might just add to the confusion. The simple travel times provided by London transport might be, in most cases more helpful. In terms of accuracy one can argue here, that there will be a delay or any sort of other complication anyway and it hugely depends on what time of the day you are actually traveling. So basically the time frame for the time frame would be important.
In short the perception of travel time is a very important factor. This is probably more important than the actual travel time. TFL somehow has the problem, that people expect it to be slow and unreliable and this probably affects the perception of travel time dramatically.

Image by mysociety.org

BBCone Has produced an animation of crime over time in Oxford. They are looking at a week and document how the amount of crime builds up. Again it is based on a normal map and colour dots fade in and out to indicate locations and a time slider on the top gives information about the time of the day and the day of the week.

Image by BBCone – Oxford crime map over time

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The tube strike in London did go ahead and is in action since yesterday 19h00. Operation on all tube lines is disrupted. But actually some lines have a service.
What a surprise the Northern Line has a good service since morning. It was the first line to be open, but during the morning other lines opened.
Staff at Euston kept a map to inform passengers what service is available. At around 10h15 already a number of lines operate a very delayed and interrupted service.

Image by UrbanTick

The clip starts in Tufnell Park where little is to see from the strike impact, as the Northern Line is in good service. Only buses coming down towards Kentish Town are jammed. There are obviously a lot of commuters on the bus who usually take the tube. At each stop a number of people ask the driver for advice and information on where the bus goes and how to get to certain places. On a normal day on the bus, hardly anyone speaks to the driver.
Same at Mornington Crescent, tube station is open and not busy. Towards Euston it gets busier and a lot of people are walking down the street, as road is jammed with buses. Euston runs a taxi service with a special taxi marshal, and the queue reaches through the big entrance hall.
Other tube stations are deserted and ticket offices closed.

UTtubeStrike_090610_HD from urbanTick on Vimeo.
music from mp3 unsigned by
Andrew Bowsher & The Sceptics (Experimental)
A man at one with his bedroom

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