Friday, 27 November 2009

Official NaPTAN bus stops data available in OpenStreetMap

We help run a research project in partnership with the DfT, Ideas in Transit; applying user innovation to the transport challenges faced by individuals and society.

Ideas in Transit has been supporting the import of the UK’s official database of 360,000 bus stops and other public transport access points (NaPTAN) into OpenStreetMap over the past year. Data for Birmingham was imported in March 2009, followed by Greater London, Suffolk and Kingston-upon-Hull in August 2009 and subsequently a further 51 authorities.

We would like to highlight the great work done in the OSM community by Thomas Wood, Christoph Böhme and Chris Hill. Thomas Wood is responsible for importing the data into OpenStreetMap, Christoph created the NOVAM viewer which allows mappers to check if an imported bus stop has been surveyed:

Lastly, I hear word that Chris Hill has been surveying Hull and talking to Hull City Council's transport team about how to feedback the crowdsourced improvements from OSM back to the NaPTAN dataset.

This is a wonderful example of how Public Sector Bodies can open up their data and engage with communities, for mutual benefit. Local transport users get better personalised transport information from services using OpenStreetMap data, and Local Authorities can receive crowdsourced improvements to their data.

This initiative would not have been possible without the support of Transport Direct and National Traveline who offered the release of the NaPTAN dataset. Ideas in Transit will continue to support the project over the coming years with support from the Technology Strategy Board, the Department for Transport and the EPSRC.

Monday, 16 November 2009

The Future of Cities, Mobility and Growth

Peter Miller, our intrepid CEO, will be dusting down his gown and venturing back to University College London on Wednesday 18th November.

He will be giving a lecture on "The Future of Cities, Mobility and Growth" as part of a series of seminars on Virtual Environments, Imaging and Visualisation.

The event starts at 6pm, and you need to register here.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Visualising Transport Data for is the Cabinet Office's project to open up government data and make it available for reuse. At Ito we take a great interest in all things open (maps, data, you name it), so when we were invited to take part in the Developer Camp we leapt at the chance.

These events usually bring together some of the best minds in the UK, and over just a couple of days we saw a lot of exciting work going on from some very talented people. Our intructions were simple:

We duly obliged, and as industry partners of the DfT on the Ideas In Transit research project, it made sense to work on the traffic count data that had been made available as part of

It can be hard to make meaningful information from huge amounts of data, a graph and a table doesn't always communicate all it should do. We have been working hard on technology to visualise big datasets into compelling stories that humans can understand. We were really pleased with what we came up with in just one and a half days, see for yourself: Traffic Visualisation Slides from ItoWorld on Vimeo.

And if you fancy, see me present this in best Geography teacher style: Dev Camp - Visualising Traffic Data from ItoWorld on Vimeo.

And finally, we have all the visuals up as images on Flickr:

All videos and images released under CC-BY-SA.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

From Time to Time Update

We have just updated the From Time to Time image set on Flickr, detailing the edits made in the past year on OpenStreetMap for various places around the world. A number of areas of high activity in the past month are clearly visible.

In central Africa details of the Africover project import into OpenStreetMap stands out. Further progress on this import is available here.

Large scale recent activity is also visible in South Korea where the main road network and location names have been added country wide.

Lots of work is also evident in the Pacific Northwest, particlularly in the Victoria, BC; Seatle, WA; and the Olympic National Park area where US National Park Service and US Forest Service data is being imported (details here and here) .

Visit the From Time to Time Flickr set to view more updated OSM 'A Year of Edits' images from around the world.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Stop Areas, Hail and ride, Flexible Zones and more tests for NaPTAN Management

ITO has released a new version of the NaPTAN Management service which now provides many new functions. The upgrade was commissioned from us by the Transport Direct team at the Department for Transport with input from Traveline.

Stop Areas
Stop Areas can now be viewed on the main map browser. Stop Areas are currently optional within NaPTAN however this map of Ipswich shows that most, but not all Stop Points are within Stop Areas. In some other parts of the country there are no stop areas at all.

Bearings for Stop Points are now shown as arrow-heads in the direct the vehicle will leave the stop for all stops where the bearing field is populated. The image of Bishopston below shows that most of the stops appear to have good bearings although there are some odd ones towards the south of the area that are at 90 degrees to the road that need attention.

Hail and ride
Hail-and-ride stops are relate to sections of road where a vehicle will stop on request. The are defined using a central point and two nodes at the start and end of the section. Some Hail-and ride sections don't have geocodes for the start and end and others for others the start and ends are not on a road. In addition to displaying this information on the map there are also new tests for hail and ride sections (see below).

Flexible zones
Flexible zones are used by demand responsive areas and define a area within which a vehicle will stop on request. Both the slippery map and the stop feature pages now show the extent of flexible zones.

New tests
We have added new tests for hail-and-ride stops to check that there are locations for the start and end of the section, that these are on the road and that the total length of the hail-and-ride section is not too long. There is also a new test for Stop Points within 4 meters of each other (2 meters for BCS stops). These new tests are initially available as 'observations' and can be adopted as 'warnings' at the regional level.

We have also relaxed the existing 'geocode outside' test to avoid picking up so many minor issues, and have tightened up the 'locality shape' test so that it now picks up more potential issues. This has resulted in a number of 'resolutions' of geocode outside warnings and new 'locality shape' warnings on the 30 April even though the underlying data hadn't changed.

Key to symbols
One can open a 'key' to the symbols used on the slippery map. Click on the word 'key' to open it. The image below shows the key when it is opened.

Better search
The search box now uses phonetic searching so it is now more forgiving of different spellings. A search for "Kings Lynn", "King's Lynn" and even "kings lin" will return features containing "King's Lynn" and "Kings Lynn".

Tutorial video
We have produced a 7 minute introduction to the NaPTAN Management product.

How to access the service
The NaPTAN service is currently only available to UK transport professionals involved in the management and use of NaPTAN data within the UK. You can request a subscription using this form. There are aspirations to provide wider access to the service in the future.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

We have upgraded OSM Mapper!

We have just upgraded OSM Mapper. There is a new user interface with some great new features. We have increased the maximum size of areas by a factor of three and have made it easier to manage longer lists of areas. You can now save your favourite views into the data and export data as KML.

Better handling of areas
Areas used to be listed across the screen in the order in which they were created and as the list grew the map would be pushed down the page. The areas are now available from a selection list and the processes of editing areas, creating new areas and deleting areas have been cleaned up. You can also set a default area.

Using the new view feature you can save many different, er, views of an area. There are some standard views such as 'sessions', 'users' and 'tags'. You can also add your own views by selecting the information you are interested in and saving it with a suitable name. Check out this short tutorial to see how easy it is to create areas and views and then use them for real.

Using OSM Mapper - An Introduction from ItoWorld on Vimeo

Advanced views
Ok, so that covers the basic stuff about creating and using areas. The following tutorial shows how to create some more advanced views into the data, including looking at who has been editing particular features, taking RSS feeds for selected features and creating list of names for waterways and streets. It shows how to set your OSM username from the profile page in order to use the 'filter by me' and 'filter by not me' feature.

OSM Mapper - Using Advanced Views from ItoWorld on Vimeo.

KML Export
A powerful new feature is the ability to export selected data as KML. Select an area and a view and then select 'Export > Map as a KML file' from the menu above the image. Give it a name, save it to your computer and then check it out in Google Earth. The image below shows some schools in Bristol in Google Earth. One school is shown in yellow, and the rest in blue.

You can also check out a KML view of London railway network and the UK Railway network

Have fun and tell us what you think. If you spot any problems then definitely tell us what's up and we are ready to get them fixed.