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.