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Mapping proximity by transit time
November 10, 2010 9:21 AM   Subscribe

Mapnificent shows you how far you can get on public transit (warning: slow to load in some browsers) in a given time in 17 cities around the world. Explanation. Video.
posted by enn (17 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Has the BART in San Francisco but not the VTA train in San Jose. Too bad. Fun tool.
posted by GuyZero at 9:31 AM on November 10, 2010


That's pretty cool. Though, uh, not necessarily very accurate. There's no way on God's green earth, I could get from my current house to my former job in 57 minutes on transit, not even if I snagged every connection perfectly every time. It took me almost that long to drive directly there via surface streets.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:35 AM on November 10, 2010


San Francisco map: "At most 15 minutes to any point in the highlighted area" (highlighted area being a region that includes the Castro and Mission Bay).

BWAHAHAHAHA
posted by blucevalo at 9:55 AM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Doesn't really seem to understand the East Bay at all.
posted by schwa at 10:03 AM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


The designer's blog has a post explaining some of the assumptions going into this, which might explain some of the inaccuracies.

Notably: "It assumes that you will time your journey in a way that you don’t have to wait for your first transport option. Of course this does not always hold in real life, but it’s a reasonable assumption to work with. It assumes further that if you change transportation, you will probably not immediatley catch the next bus/train/spaceship...I found that the waiting time (for Berlin) is actually lower. That can be explained by the fact that the public transport agency supposedly designed the timetables in a smart way that allows connecting trains/busses/submarines to wait for each other in order to let riders change more quickly."

At least where I live (Philadelphia), those aren't safe assumptions at all. I've sometimes spent as much time waiting for public transit (counting transfers) as I've spent actually travelling.
posted by cjelli at 10:04 AM on November 10, 2010


Yes, it seems a little overly optimistic for Chicago too. But it's fun anyway. If you go to "settings" you can try to correct for time of day a little bit.
posted by enn at 10:05 AM on November 10, 2010


Chicago has done it right... now living in Austin, I miss the 13 years when I lived in Chicago without owning a car. Trade offs everywhere- such is life.
posted by flyfsh_peter at 10:24 AM on November 10, 2010


Interesting. The Chicago map is pretty accurate for points from my house. It matches my experience with places which I go to frequently on the bus from home, assuming that there is no waiting at the bus stop for a bus, as stated in the designer's blog. Of course, that's not realistic. Not only is there usually a wait for the bus, if I am 5-10 minutes off my schedule leaving for work, I will sometimes have to wait until the third bus before there is room for me to board at my bus stop. One of the nearby buses is particularly unreliable on weekends, and I've had to hop a cab to make the train to my parents' more than once.

However, my neighborhood--specifically the intersections within a 1/4 mile of our condo--are unusually well-served by the buses. During rush hour, four bus routes stop at the nearest corner, three stop at the corner where I normally get my bus, and an additional three stop at the alternate stop I use when I can't get on the crowded buses at my usual stop. Of those ten buses, all but one get me reasonably near my office, and only three would require me to make a transfer because walking from the nearest stop would be inconvenient.
posted by crush-onastick at 10:36 AM on November 10, 2010


No LA? Well, that's kind of fair, since you'd have to set the amount of time so high. Cool link, though.
posted by klangklangston at 11:46 AM on November 10, 2010


cjelli: when I lived in Philly I basically avoided transferring at all costs. For any two-leg trip I'd just walk the shorter leg.
posted by madcaptenor at 11:53 AM on November 10, 2010


Interesting, but as others said, hardly accurate.

when I lived in Philly I basically avoided transferring at all costs. For any two-leg trip I'd just walk the shorter leg.

This often works in San Francisco for one-leg trips.

Cool site, but sorta backwards. I don't need to know how far I can get in X minutes. I need to know how far X to 7 will take on average.

I travel from my house in Berkeley (near Ashby) to my office in S.F. in about 40 minutes. That is useful knowledge. That I could get to Lake Merritt in 25 minutes is not.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:58 PM on November 10, 2010


7=Y
posted by mrgrimm at 12:59 PM on November 10, 2010


I am reminded of this thread over on askme and am disappointed that the site doesn't include all of the various transfers detailed in that thread.
posted by yeoz at 1:04 PM on November 10, 2010


I travel from my house in Berkeley (near Ashby) to my office in S.F. in about 40 minutes. That is useful knowledge. That I could get to Lake Merritt in 25 minutes is not.

He points out one legitimate use for this kind of estimate in the video — it's a nice way to figure out from which neighborhoods you could reasonably commute to a job when you're moving.
posted by enn at 1:21 PM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


My uncle always told me never date a woman you have to transfer on the bus to see.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 2:08 PM on November 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


According to the London map, in three hours, you couldn't get from Buckingham Palace to Hampstead by pubic transport. Which is weird, as according to many other sources, in three hours you can get from London to Newcastle by public transport.
posted by rhymer at 3:32 AM on November 11, 2010


They should do Switzerland. Most of the entire country is reachable, and you can get inter-city train tickets that include the local transportation.
posted by Goofyy at 8:01 AM on November 11, 2010


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