Support 110 years of independent journalism.

10 April 2007

You wait ages for a decent bus map…

New websites are making it easier to plan your bus journey online

By Mike Butcher

Data about public services such as mapping or public transport – with a handful of exceptions – remains locked up in our government departments and local authorities. But some of that data is starting to seep out, and it can be very, very useful. Many people are already aware of how Public Whip managed to “scrape” the online version of Hansard and turn it into something actually useable. But the fight goes on.

Take for instance this, from Surrey County Council. What you will see is a pretty terrible interface to bus timetable information. I mean who ever understood how to “enter a stop reference number”?

It’s great they have all this live data about buses, but the presentation is terrible.

So along comes, which has taken that data and‘mashed’ it up with a map from Google. The result is an incredibly good interface which makes sense of the information. And they are nominated for a NMA award.

The one drawback is that I am unlikely to be able to flip out my laptop at the bus-stop to check when the bus is arriving, but it would be useful if I was about to set off from home or work. Roll on mobiles with a big enough screen and enough power to display this rich information.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday - from the New Statesman. Sign up directly at The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. Sign up directly at Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Content from our partners
Why we urgently need a social care workforce plan
Resolving the crisis in children’s dentistry
Planetary perspectives: how data can transform disaster response and preparation