Trains vs Car
What's is it? A map showing how far you can typically travel by train or car in a given time.
What's the point of it? For example, if you want to live within an hour of work, this would show you where you could live - or vice versa.
Why was it built? Primarily to understand those areas where public transport compared favourably with car, and vice versa.
How was it built? It combines iGeolise's 'travel time API' with a few standard Google maps and location services.
Key limitations: It's only as good as the data available
What's is it? A map showing tourist attractions within a given journey time of a chosen location.
What's the point of it? For example, if you want a day out within an hour of home, this would show you where these are.
Why was it built? To help find days out! Many tourist information sites seem particularly bad at filtering attractions based upon how long you are prepared to travel.
How was it built? It combines iGeolise's 'travel time API' with data from key tourist information sites and a few standard Google maps and location services.
Key limitations: It's only as good as the data available
Lower Airspace Map
What's is it? A map of UK airspace, at lower altitudes typically used by recreational pilots, showing which sort of 'air traffic control' service is available, and key airspace restrictions.
What's the point of it? Various different types of 'air traffic control' service exist, and may only be available at certain times of day / day of the week. When a recreational pilot is planning a flight, it can be difficult without local knowledge (or checking lots of textual information) to establish which air traffic control units to plan to talk to along a route.
Why was it built? Primarily it was built to illustrate the complexity of the current system - but it can be useful to give an indication during flight planning.
How was it built? For most of the data, textual data was manually converted to structured data to represent on the map. Airspace data was sourced from the open source AIP: http://www.openaip.net/
Key limitations: The lack of assured updates to the underlying data mean it is unsuitable to rely upon in its current form.
What's is it? A map of the UK showing nearest airfield - primarily aimed at recreational pilots.
What's the point of it? Light aircraft are generally flown for pleasure, albeit some pilots use them for commuting or attending business meetings. Internet forums often get requests akin to "I need to visit xxx on Monday, does anyone know a suitable nearby airfield". The aim of this project was to allow the user to state where they are (or need to be), and search for airfields within a journey time radius - potentially filtering on criteria such as runway length.
Why was it built? To help answer the question of 'is there anywhere near xxx that I can fly into?'
How was it built? It combines iGeolise's 'travel time API' with Airport data from http://ourairports.com/ - and a few standard Google maps and location services.
Key limitations: The underlying database of airfields is a community maintained open source database, and therefore can be out of date in places.
Radar head locations
What's is it? A map of the UK showing where radar sites for civilian and military tracking of aircraft are located.
What's the point of it? Radar is used by air traffic control services to help avoid aircraft collisions. Coverage at lower levels is variable, and this map was built to model the likely coverage taking into account the height of the radar station and terrain. Clicking on a radar site brings up a forecast of the coverage area for the site.
Why was it built? To help answer the question of 'is this area covered by radar'
How was it built? It uses an Ofcom database of radar locations, and trigonometry to model the impact of the NASA UK terrain database
Key limitations: Radar range is also partially impacted by other factors not modelled
What's is it? Departure board of train times for any British railway station
What's the point of it? To check departure times of trains - can be used on a Raspberry Pi running Chromium with a screen attached to provide a display screen (or indeed various other hardware).
Why was it built? Has been included within other websites
How was it built? It uses National Rail Enquiries "Darwin" API
Key limitations: Very few - it's the same data that is used in railway stations themselves.
UK rail journey planner
What's is it? Plan journeys and check fares for almost all British railway journeys - it also includes real-time cancellations and delays.
What's the point of it? Evaluate the journey options for travelling by train.
Why was it built? This was built to support consultancy work on other projects. For example, one client wished to understand the impact of a new fares strategy, so we were able to build a portal showing fares 'as is' alongside the proposed fares from their strategy - this helped stakeholders far better understand the consequences of the proposed strategy without having to ask for lots of specific examples to be provided.
How was it built? It uses SilverRail's IPTIS journey planner, which in turn takes standard national rail times and fares feeds. It is also supplemented with additional datasets for fares in the North of England not covered by those systems - such as multi-modal tickets and day rovers.
Key limitations: Very few - it's the same engine used by National Rail Enquiries. At present it doesn't check fare availability for 'Advance' fares, to avoid the cost of making such queries (but is capable of doing so when required)
What's is it? Plots official station journey figures on a Google map
What's the point of it? To be able to quickly check how busy a station is.
Why was it built? Official data is in tabular format and alphabetical order - often as a consultant you are more interested in patterns along a line of route, therefore displaying the data on a map makes it easier to use.
How was it built? Simply plotting the official 'Office of Rail and Road' data on a map.
Key limitations: It's static data, and needs a manual annual refresh.
Bus departure boards
What's is it? Departure board of real-time bus times for most English bus stops
What's the point of it? To check departure times of buses - has been used embedded in Parish Council websites, linked to using a QR code sticker on the bus stop.
Why was it built? Has been included within other websites to provide public information
How was it built? It uses the TransportAPI.com APIs
Key limitations: It's only as good as the data available, which varies by region. In many areas good GPS derived data is available though.