Thanks to some curious emails and a couple of dormant Google Alerts, it's come to my attention that the Travel Time Tube Map I made a few years ago has had a sudden resurgence of internet fame. My original blog post informs me that it's over 5 years old. Wow!
I'm not sure who rediscovered it first, but thanks to everyone who's linked to it so far including Fast Co. Design, Creativity Online, Wired UK, PSFK, Roomthily, Inteloquent, OpenStreetMap and numerous Twitter and Facebook users.
The map has been picked up by a few books and exhibitions over the years, including the wonderful Form + Code by Casey Reas and Chandler McWilliams. If you're interested in how this kind of work gets made then the book is essential.
If you're interested in a more thorough theoretical exploration of isochrones I can recommend Nicholas Street's Time Contours paper on the subject. If you find yourself yearning for an even deeper treatment of transit data, look around for people like Mike Frumin who take research far more seriously than I do!
If you want to play around with this code for yourself, it should be relatively easy to fix up for current versions of Processing (probably just the fonts will need updating, please leave a comment if there's anything else) and you can get the data here.
I've had a few requests to update the map with current data, including the East London Line and Heathrow Terminal 5, as well as suggestions to include the overground in south London and elsewhere. Sadly I haven't found a coherent and consistent data source that I could drop-in as a replacement for my hand-edited original. The official Transport for London data sources on data.gov.uk look promising, and I've had a couple of under-the-table offers from people with access to time-table data, but these all require more time and effort than I have for the map at the moment. In future I'd like to move the map to a more 201x format like Canvas or SVG, perhaps porting to Processing JS. Perhaps an app? One day...
Often the things I write would be equally suitable for all three, so I thought I'd point you at two recent CfEA posts, one on an interesting project called Waiting and one on some thoughts for Real-time Ego-centric Isochronic Maps.
(If you're being completist about your e-stalking, you'll also want to subscribe to OpenGeoData and PintCast - the latter is a new podcast with Steve Coast and friends that is still finding its feet, and is yet to buy a good microphone...)
A variation on the tube map time travel applet, this version maintains the geographical layout but adds contours to show how long it takes to travel between stations. The contouring method isn't quite right (I should have used 1D textures), but it's good enough to experiment with.
I've finally had time to get my Travel Time Tube Map applet to a presentable stage.
There's a list of desired improvements on the applet page, but the next step for me is plotting this information on the Harry Beck style diagram rather than a geographic map. If anyone knows of a vector format tube map I could use to get me started, please let me know.
Snowbound and carefree, I'm playing around with different methods of presentation for the ubiquitous London Underground (tube) map.
I found RGB versions of the tube line colours over at Rodcorp, so that saved me some bother.
Being the only machine-readable single-file resource I could find, I'm using Jo Walsh's RDF representation of the station locations and connections, a leftover from the sadly defunct MudLondon. I'm not sure yet if it's up to date, or complete, or internally consistent (reason number 1 in an ongoing series of why the semantic web might not be all that it's cooked up to be). Once I fix my doubtlessly buggy RDF parser and check with Jo for any pointers, I'll see if I can do better than this:
At least it's a start.
If anyone has suggestions/links for alternative data sources I'd be very grateful - is there an electronic format schematic for the tube available from an official source? Aha - these CSV files from Wikipedia look more promising!
On with some alternative representations of the data - next stop: time to travel.