26 April 2014

Walking around London


With the upcoming tube strikes, Londoners will be walking more. If past experience is anything to go by, getting a bus at rush hour will be tricky at best. But London carries on...

 A new tube map shows the walking times between stations.  It's handy to have them line by line too -
How did they work out the walking times ... possibly from the fast-walker times given by tfl journey planner? The journey planner helps you find walking routes between tube stations, between postcodes, between addresses, between places of interest.

Trying this out for a journey I've had to make several times in past tube strikes, from home to BMA House, I see there's now a way to get to Euston Station from here by overground - it involves 3 changes and the journey will take 1 hour 14 minutes. Experience proves it can be walked in 1 hour 5 minutes, so why not get some healthy exercise instead, and feel virtuous striding through the gridlock rather than being sardined into trying-to-cope trains?
To find walking routes via the journey planner, unclick various transport options under "travel preferences" on the right -
Then click the "Cycling & Walking" tab and fill in the box with your maximum walking time, and choose your walking speed -

In trying to research that how they might have worked out the walking routes, I came across an app called City Mapper - "so slick it makes oil jealous":

"CityMapper is essentially what official app ‘My TfL’ ought to be. Plug in any journey, and it’ll generate a plethora of ways to travel. Want to walk? It’ll show you a route, estimate the time it’ll take and how many calories you’ll burn. It’ll do the same for cycling, offering you both ‘fast’ and ‘quiet’ routes – or if you’re feeling lazy, an estimated taxi fare is also provided.

"For public transport, it colour codes the tube icons and embeds bus route numbers in the overview, so you can see at a glance the journey routes it’s suggesting."

It's free - and it's now on my new phone. Very 21st century, wot?

Which brings us to another question - what's in it for the developers of free apps? Is this simply an act of generosity ... are they building up karma? Or is there a hidden agenda?

1 comment:

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