Commuting: Now in technicolor
November 30, 2010 12:51 PM   Subscribe

Chromaroma launched its public beta today. The site takes Oyster and Cycle Hire data and turns it into a city-wide game, with teams capturing stations, accepting missions and having good, old fashioned, public transport based fun. Commuting has never been this enjoyable.

More Oyster and Underground API hacks.
posted by muthecow (17 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
How many points do I get for Mornington Crescent?
posted by fight or flight at 1:03 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by nathancaswell at 1:27 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

Yay. The internet is getting extremely awesome now that it can turn the world into my playground.
posted by Miko at 1:42 PM on November 30, 2010

Old Street station at #2. There's a surprise.
posted by influx at 1:47 PM on November 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


We do our best to protect your TFL password, but you may wish to change this to a password that you don't use anywhere else.

That's reassuring.
posted by influx at 1:50 PM on November 30, 2010

Thanks you bastard, I just thought about the game.
posted by Keith Talent at 1:51 PM on November 30, 2010

So it's like Foursquare for the subway?
posted by octothorpe at 1:51 PM on November 30, 2010

I got the Key for Islington from the Black Friars, how many points is that?
posted by Panjandrum at 2:13 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Old Street station at #2. There's a surprise.

I am only glancingly familiar with East London, but that's a hipster joke, right? Can you guys provide closed captions in Americanese?
posted by zvs at 2:22 PM on November 30, 2010

Don't you people have anything better to do?
posted by scruss at 2:26 PM on November 30, 2010

Old Street is the station for hipster ground zero (Hoxton/Shoreditch), and below (and I can barely bring myself to use the phrase) Silicon Roundabout.

I dunno, it's just another bit of 4IP-funded dataviz/gamification wank, and wouldn't be any worse than all the rest of this guff, except that they're clearly storing your TFL password in the clear so that they can scrape the TFL site, which I'm pretty sure also gives them access to payment details of some sort, and would in theory allow them to bang a £1500 season ticket on your account. No thanks.
posted by influx at 2:39 PM on November 30, 2010

Influx, what element of this do you believe is gamification? This is straight up game.

What exactly are people's knee-jerk objections here - that they're having fun with data? Considering Londoners spend 1-3 hours on public transport every day anything that makes it more enjoyable and lighthearted is welcome.

Real life Monopoly built off your own casual movements, this thing is stellar!
posted by hugsnkisses at 3:26 PM on November 30, 2010

Well as I said, my main objection is that they want me to hand over my login details for a service that ties directly into my bank account, and are clearly storing them insecurely.

As for game/gamification - you might well be right, but it's difficult to know as their site doesn't really explain what it is.
posted by influx at 3:35 PM on November 30, 2010

I know the developers, and I think Chromaroma is definitely a very neat idea. Having said that, I would imagine that most people have standard commutes to and from work, and would generally visit the same few stations every week; getting people to go out of their way to touch in and out of other stations seems a fairly big ask unless they're really motivated and/or have a lot of free time.

Incidentally, this is the same problem that most location-based games (that are not also utilities, i.e. Foursquare) have - they don't take into account most people's normal habits, which is that they tend to stick to a fairly stable set of locations to visit (e.g. home, work, shopping, gym). Running games are a bit better, but even then, most runners have favoured and static routes.
posted by adrianhon at 4:00 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Bouncing off Adrian's comment, it's perhaps worth mentioning that the company that developed Chromaroma, Mudlark, is actually based a couple of hundred miles from London.
posted by Hogshead at 5:57 PM on November 30, 2010

Influx - while I agree with your sentiments about Old Street and the reassuring password protection scheme they have in place, I'm surprised you think they're going to whack a £1,500 travelcard on your card. What makes you think they'll do that? My payment details are all over the web, and half the time I've forgotten to un-check the 'do not pass my details onto 3rd parties' box, and yet I've never been charged for anything against my knowledge. What makes you think this site will be any different?
posted by muthecow at 1:57 AM on December 1, 2010

Unfortunately for me, my Oyster card is a container for a season travelcard, which means that Journey History is not available. As a result, I can't take part in any of the tube-based stuff.

Anyone know why Oyster only store journey history information for people who pay-as-you-go?

It's a shame as this sounds quite fun, and might encourage people who do purely commute from A to B to explore some more of the city.
posted by Stark at 3:42 AM on December 1, 2010

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