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Training Day
June 21, 2010 6:42 AM   Subscribe

Live Google map of trains running on the London Underground, created using the Transport for London API. From the makers of the highly-useful accessible, bookmarkable UK train timetables.
posted by grouse (32 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's a lot of trains.

Unlike more modern metros, the Underground has only one track in each direction, meaning that it has to be shut down every night for maintenence. Then the map will be empty :(
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:52 AM on June 21, 2010


Did we break it? It's not loading for me. Is this some meta-commentary on waiting for a train?

/me leans forward, looks down tracks expectantly
posted by desjardins at 6:52 AM on June 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


At last, a series of tubes on the internet.

This is pretty awesome.
posted by Elmore at 6:53 AM on June 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


That is pretty awesome indeed, although I'm surprised there's an realtime(ish) API with the bombing so relatively recent. Maybe you guys are less paranoid and CYA-prone than American gov'ts.
posted by DU at 6:58 AM on June 21, 2010


I just noticed they posted the source code as well. Glancing through it, there are a lot of special cases. I think most programmers would sympathize with the coders. Been there.
posted by grouse at 6:59 AM on June 21, 2010


there are a lot of special cases.

Well, there have to be. It depends on whether you're using Stovold's original rules or the 2nd edition (or the much maligned 3rd!), and further whether you're permitting Rushton's Gambit or straddling on even lines when in Knipp.
posted by Electric Dragon at 7:10 AM on June 21, 2010 [10 favorites]



Did we break it? It's not loading for me. Is this some meta-commentary on waiting for a train?

No, just accessing Melbourne trains in real time (BOOM - Take that Metro Trains)
posted by the noob at 7:10 AM on June 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


That is pretty awesome indeed, although I'm surprised there's an realtime(ish) API with the bombing so relatively recent. Maybe you guys are less paranoid and CYA-prone than American gov'ts.

To be fair, there's nothing on this map that you couldn't figure out by, say, searching the JourneyPlanner on the TfL website or even going down onto a platform and waiting for a train.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:11 AM on June 21, 2010


desjardins,

They're movin' for me! not a metaphor
posted by lukemeister at 7:22 AM on June 21, 2010


I'm watching a train in real time that jumped the tracks and is successfully traversing Hyde Park! Amazing!
posted by planetkyoto at 7:42 AM on June 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm watching a train in real time that jumped the tracks and is successfully traversing Hyde Park! Amazing!

It's not the only one - I watched one do the same thing about 3/4h ago.

I watched it cross Hyde Park at high speed (15 seconds to cross the park?) then turn left and head north. Sadly, it crashed my browser as it crossed the north circular, so I have no idea where it ended up.
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 8:01 AM on June 21, 2010


I love this. Since moving to London, I've been fascinated by the idea of all these tunnels and frenzied activity underfoot, unseen except for the occasional bit of pavement that rumbles as a train passes underneath. I can't help but wonder about all the stuff we don't see, too: abandoned or non-public stations, switching points, cargo or storage yards, etc.

One of the things I'd really love to see is this combined with a 3d map of the network, showing the tunnels' actual routes rather than just point-to-point. I have some ideas how to collect data for a map like that, but need to improve my programming before I can even test the concept.

Hmm, while I'm here: can anyone suggest a good map or book about all the tunnels, cellars, caverns, bomb shelters, sewers, etc. under London? I'm not saying the city's an iceberg (not enough polar bears roaming around, for starters), but there must be a hell of a lot going on underground that we never get to see.
posted by metaBugs at 8:02 AM on June 21, 2010


Here's a similar view for San Francisco's little train system. Click "select routes" and add in all the lettered routes to get all trains at once.
posted by Nelson at 8:16 AM on June 21, 2010


"the highly-useful accessible, bookmarkable UK train timetables."

This is aces. Thanks Grouse!
posted by Cantdosleepy at 8:25 AM on June 21, 2010


Not sure it's worth a FPP, so I'll just leave this here: A proposed "subway" map for Ankh-Morpork.
posted by kmz at 8:54 AM on June 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just watched one making its way down Shaftesbury Avenue, before heading north for Coram's Fields.
posted by gene_machine at 8:54 AM on June 21, 2010


metaBugs, I'm told Underground London is pretty good.
posted by Quantum's Deadly Fist at 9:00 AM on June 21, 2010


I love the runaway train that shoots through Hyde Park.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:05 AM on June 21, 2010


This is fantastic. Now can someone explain why you can't get the same information from the boards at stations serving the District and Hammersmith & City Lines east of Monument? How about that for a parochial gripe?

This might be of interest to you metaBUGS, it's a (more) geographically accurate rendering of the tube map.
posted by Brian Lux at 9:07 AM on June 21, 2010


I see about 90 percent of the trains moving, and some not moving. The ones that are not moving seem to be stopped longer than it would take to embark / disembark passengers. Any ideas?

Also, I would have loved to see this overlaid with the classic Underground map, but I realize there's not even close to a 1:1 correspondence between the map and actual geography.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:45 AM on June 21, 2010


This is one of the absolutely coolest things EVER (I love the Tube and am total map dork). Best of the web, indeed!
posted by pointystick at 10:06 AM on June 21, 2010


Well, there's my afternoon shot.
posted by generichuman at 10:26 AM on June 21, 2010


Hypnotic...
posted by marginaliana at 12:40 PM on June 21, 2010


While the mashup is neat, the real kudos have to go to the city of London for providing an open API for developers.

Frankly, in this day and age all this shit should be public anyway. Naturally it will take a few decades and revolutions for this kind of transparency to hit the States.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:48 PM on June 21, 2010


I love the runaway train that shoots through Hyde Park.

There's also the Jubilee Line train that goes directly from Canary Wharf to London Bridge, presumably by flying over the Thames.
posted by acb at 2:05 PM on June 21, 2010


Trams in Helsinki. Handy when it rains...
posted by hoskala at 2:14 PM on June 21, 2010


One thing I'd like to see is this concept applied to buses. The data seems to exist, albeit in somewhat noisy form (those Countdown displays at bus stops, which display which buses are coming in how many minutes, seem to be based on actual position information from buses). If there was a similar XML feed of where buses on various routes are, that would be very useful, not least of all for location-aware mobile apps which could tell you what's arriving at which nearby bus stops and when (which would be immensely useful for deciding when to leave your house/work/the pub to walk to the bus stop).

National Rail trains would also be good, if only National Rail released their data.
posted by acb at 2:54 PM on June 21, 2010


Did we break it? It's not loading for me. Is this some meta-commentary on waiting for a train?

It fails to load under Chrome, but runs OK (if slowly) in Firefox. (Undoubtedly pushing the venerable fox closer to the browser equivalent of a massive coronary from the strain.)
posted by acb at 2:56 PM on June 21, 2010


Unlike more modern metros, the Underground has only one track in each direction, meaning that it has to be shut down every night for maintenence. Then the map will be empty :(

I wonder how long until somebody does a Flight Patterns-style visualisation of all the train journeys in a day on the Tube.
posted by acb at 2:57 PM on June 21, 2010


I can't get it to work in Chrome, Firefox or IE6. Wonder if it's a proxy server issue...
posted by awfurby at 9:27 PM on June 21, 2010


Things like this make me angry at how shitty the subway system is in Toronto. Le sigh... At least I don't live downtown anymore, so I'm out in the burbs where public transit is even WORSE.
posted by antifuse at 8:44 AM on June 22, 2010


I just graduated and left the states for the first time in my life to visit London and Paris a couple weeks ago. I was having London nostalgia (especially after being annoyed at Los Angeles Metro's woefully inadequate TAP card, which is basically a badly implemented Oyster card) and came to Mefi to type in "London". Lo and behold this from only a couple days ago!

I don't think any trains are running right now, but I'll definitely check this out tomorrow.


I <3 London.
posted by Defenestrator at 7:53 PM on June 23, 2010


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