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Walk It
November 7, 2006 3:34 AM   Subscribe

Walk It is a website for planning walking journeys. It gives you a map and directions for the best route, and info on distance, walking time, calorie burn and even CO2 potentially saved by avoiding the car, taxi or bus. London only, at present, alas.
posted by nthdegx (21 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Awesome.

To be a truly superb walking tool for London it will need:

* the option to pinpoint and avoid large groups of tourists blocking 95% of the pavement and twatting everyone with their backpacks
* road junctions you can most easily face down black taxis
* ratings of subway tunnels (5 = pristine, 0 = Marble Arch)
posted by randomination at 4:02 AM on November 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


Oh, and

* large purple triangles so you can avoid where all the crap new free newspapers are being given out
posted by randomination at 4:05 AM on November 7, 2006


Awesome. Completely and utterly.

I do a lot of walking in London and this is a perfect resource for some further exploration (though getting lost in London is quite a pleasant experience in and of itself.)

Thanks for posting this.
posted by slimepuppy at 4:18 AM on November 7, 2006


Randomination reminded me of something about Londoners I've discovered recently. Londoners aren't rude; the tourists are just in the fucking way.

Living here for any amount of time will verify this.
posted by slimepuppy at 4:20 AM on November 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


I would have preferred a google map instead of the one they're using. Asides from that, nice idea.
posted by movilla at 4:27 AM on November 7, 2006


You can already do this with the TfL journey planner by disabling all the public transport options on the advanced search page, and it produces nice printable PDFs.
posted by cillit bang at 4:32 AM on November 7, 2006


(small self-linkaroo) Actually, thinking about it, it's getting close to the time I need to print off a few more of these walking license violation notices [26K, PDF]
posted by randomination at 4:32 AM on November 7, 2006


(NSFW on the above link)
posted by randomination at 4:34 AM on November 7, 2006


I'm very much in favour of walking around London, but there are some slight criticisms I'd make - they seem to give a route, but perhaps not the best one (if I wanted to walk to Greenwich, I'd be perfectly glad to walk further if it allowed me to miss out New Cross and the Old Kent Road). And sometimes it doesn't give the shortest route either.

And I'm not sure that it can really calculate calories without knowing one's weight.

May I suggest experimentation and this site?
posted by Grangousier at 5:01 AM on November 7, 2006


Wouldn't the bus keep running whether or not you were on it?
posted by snickerdoodle at 5:34 AM on November 7, 2006


"Wouldn't the bus keep running whether or not you were on it?

Sure thing - but if more bus users were to opt for walking more often then the need for buses would decrease and CO2 emissions would fall.

Notice, though, that the figure for the bus is much less than either the taxi or the car. I'm pretty sure a big ol' bus will emit more greenhouse gases over the same trip as a car or taxi. However, a bus will emit less carbon dioxide without me on it because it has to carry less weight, and maybe it's something to do with this figure that they're accounting for. I don't know it'd be as much as they seem to claim, but it is right to think there would be beneficial effects. I'm curious to know their algorithm on this, though.
posted by nthdegx at 6:55 AM on November 7, 2006


The CO2 and calorie burn are nice features. But in a practical sense a pocket A-Z is far more useful.
posted by rhymer at 7:01 AM on November 7, 2006


They've done a really good job on this. However if it was I who was suggesting a walking point to get a friend from A to B I would probably modify it to make it:
1. Easier to follow - take out the need to make so many turns.
2. Take a more attractive route - for example follow the river or cross the park or divert to an interesting side street.
3. Avoid less attractive places such as busy roads, anywhere unsafe.

Even if the resulting route were a little longer I think most people would like to take it. I'd like to see them include the settings to allow people to do this.

What the system needs is an internal model of good (and/or safe and/or easy) walking routes that it can direct people from and to.
posted by rongorongo at 7:16 AM on November 7, 2006


Ask.com's maps now give walking directions as well. They're the first competitor to google maps that does a better job than google, which really set the standard. Ask does it for everywhere.

What's the diff? It will let me walk the wrong way on one-way streets but won't let me drive the same way - a big deal here in Toronto where half the streets seem to be one-way.
posted by GuyZero at 7:23 AM on November 7, 2006


But in a practical sense a pocket A-Z is far more useful.

It would be if I didn't always end up going somewhere in the crease between the two pages.


Randomination reminded me of something about Londoners I've discovered recently. Londoners aren't rude; the tourists are just in the fucking way.


I moved to England about a year and half ago and I only just realized why I get so frustrated walking around (not London but Birmingham). People here walk like they are doing their xmas shopping all year round. You can't just blame the tourists. It's all of you. Tourists are just an easy to single out group.
posted by srboisvert at 8:48 AM on November 7, 2006


This would be fantastic if I lived in London! Do they have plans to bring it to NYC?
posted by etoile at 8:55 AM on November 7, 2006


This would be ever so helpful for LA... with mileage between each Starbucks location and how many calories are gained *back*.

(Not that I hit Starbucks that often, myself. Just sayin'...)
posted by katillathehun at 9:17 AM on November 7, 2006


large purple triangles so you can avoid where all the crap new free newspapers are being given out

Seriously, what the fuck is up with that? You can't throw a rock on Holborn without hitting one of these guys.
posted by eriko at 9:19 AM on November 7, 2006


That's pretty cool!

I've always wanted a mapping service for bikes and walking that took into account the topography of the area. Like, for instance, you could specify "no grades over 3%, or something like that. Depending on what shoes I'm wearing and my general energy level, I'll walk a longer distance if it means I don't have to walk up a super steep hill.

Probably more of an issue here in San Francisco where if you look at a map and are not super familiar with the area and plan according to shortest distance, you'll often embark on your trip only to discover a huge hill between you and your destination. I've seen both biking and walking paper maps that show grading (color-coded according to flat, slight grade, medium grade, steep grade) but haven't seen an online version that factors that in when suggesting routes. Seems like it would be fairly simple to add that as a layer to the underlying data.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 10:19 AM on November 7, 2006


randomination: How do you serve the walking violations? Tape it to their back? Staple to the back of the head?
posted by peeedro at 10:30 AM on November 7, 2006


I use a brick.
posted by randomination at 10:41 AM on November 7, 2006


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