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CycleStreets blog

News from CycleStreets

Archive for August, 2009

Photomap improvements: tagging

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

We’ve just rolled out tagging, amongst a number of other improvements we’re now finalising for the Photomap.

When you add/edit a photo, you can now add tags (keywords). These will automatically get linked to other photos with that same keyword. They will also be listed in the tag list.

We’ve seen quite an increase recently in people using the photomap and there are lots of other changes we’ve been working on which we’ll blog about shortly once they’re live. We’re gradually cleaning up the code for this area of the system and considering interface improvements.

Please do add tags to your existing photos. Click on my photos, go a picture and then click on the Edit button below the photo. You can then add tags at the end of the form. We hope to improve the interface in due course.

Get tagging!

Exporting cycle routes to GPS

Friday, August 14th, 2009

We added a way of saving a cycle route to a GPS device following requests when we demonstrated the system in Manchester in May.

We have changed this now, so that:

  1. Both the Quietest and Fastest routes are included in a single exported .gpx file.
  2. Only the first point on each street is named. Previously it was every point and we were told this produced too much clutter on the screen.

We’ll continue to review this feature as we receive more feedback – do get in touch if you have more suggestions.

I (Simon) have been doing some mapping of my own recently – of my home town, Hinckley in Leicestershire. The town has been mapped, already but mostly of the main roads. I was able to add all the cycle routing detail to two areas in the north of the town, and a few useful country links, when I go there again I hope to have the chance to do more. All this activity has made me understand better the perspective of the CycleStreets system from the mapper’s point of view. It has made me realise the need for a page on our site to explain clearly how we interpret OpenStreetMap.org data, and what tags we pick up that help improve the quality of the generated routes.

Ferry Crossings and more

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Our regular imports of data from the openstreetmap.org (OSM) project now includes ways that are marked as ferry crossings. For the UK, this amounts to around 250 links.

Here’s an example where the quietest route uses the ferry, but the fastest goes a longer way round on the roads: http://www.cyclestreets.net/journey/70755/

The hours of operation and the crossing times of the ferries are not included, and so the routes are indicative, and come with a note advising to check departure times. Over time, as more information about these crossings is included in OSM we shall extend this feature in response to feedback.

Following feedback from a CycleStreets user we were able to add scales to all the scrollable maps on our website – within an hour of receiving the request. We can’t always respond that quickly, but the internal system we have in place for handling routing feedback is helping us address the volume of comments and prioritise development to improve the quality of the suggested routes.

The photos-en-route system (described in a recent blog post) that we revived last month seems to have stimulated more contributions of photos of cycleways and cycle parking from all around the country. It takes a couple of days for recently contributed photos to start appearing in the route listings because that is part of our almost daily refresh cycle. There are plans to make this more immediate, and if you think we should prioritise that work let us know.

We welcome your feedback, especially to report bugs or give us route feedback.

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