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CycleStreets blog

News from CycleStreets

Archive for March, 2012

UK Collision Map – a new resource for the cycle campaigning community

Friday, March 30th, 2012

We’re pleased to launch today a new resource for the cycling community: a browsable, searchable collision map with complete details of every reported road collision involving cyclists in the UK since 2005. This will also be integrated into our new campaigning toolkit being finalised, Cyclescape.

www.cyclestreets.net/collisions

Not only can you browse around the map, but you can also:

  • Select areas to get all the details of each collision in that area (see screenshot below)
  • View full details of each collision and its associated vehicles and people involved
  • Export the data to a spreadsheet
  • Drill down through the data (which will soon be linked with the geographical view)
  • Search the data

At present the map view is limited to cycle collisions (but the search interface can retrieve others).

This new facility has been possible thanks to power of Open Data – in the form of the recent release by the government of STATS19 data. STATS19 is the system used by the Police to record details of each collision and, as part of that, each vehicle and person involved. The dataset is incredibly detailed, and so we want to help campaigners make sense of it.

In our work to compile the data, we’ve gone a step further and added the drawing, export and search tools (as we had existing code to make that fairly easy to add).

You can click on any point to see a summary of key details, and then click to view the full report, each of which has a stable URL for future linking:

   

The main driver for this work has been to create a data interface (API) for Cyclescape, our campaigning toolkit, which will shortly have the ability to press a button to view collision data around the area of an issue (e.g. a poor junction) being discussed by campaigners. For the Cambridge area, this work to integrate it into Cyclescape is being funded by Cambridge Sustainable City, as part of a set of improvements that are desperately needed by Cambridge Cycling Campaign for a range of campaigns on longer lorries, huge planning applications and junction problems.

We’ve therefore created and documented an API that exposes the data. (We cannot guarantee the API will be stable until a few weeks’ time.)

Lastly – partly to help with testing – there is also a detailed search, which will shortly be integrated more fully with the geographical drawing facility.

Do let us have your feedback and let us know what you’d like to prioritise next. Stabilisation of the API will be our foremost priority in the short term.

We’ll be considering whether to take into account this data into the journey planner engine. As cycle campaigners ourselves, we know that collision data is subject to considerable under-reporting, and thus we would need a high statistical significance to use it for that purpose.

Mobile pages relaunched

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

We’ve refreshed the mobile section of our website, including new screenshots, updated feature lists, and a new page about our mobile web site.

CycleStreets apps are available for iPhone, mobile web (HTML5), and Android:

Apple Appstore    Mobile web site (HTML5)    Android Market

These apps would not have been possible without the enormous efforts of volunteers working on these open source projects. Thanks all! Do consider getting involved if you are a developer.

Have a browse around some of the refreshed screenshots:

     

    

OpenStreetMap community mapping guide – for Cycling Scotland

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

We’re pleased to announce the availability of a new brochure that we’ve done for Cycling Scotland, aimed at motivating people to get mapping for OpenStreetMap.

Cycle mapping for cycle routing with OpenStreetMap – the new community mapping guide – explains how you can get involved.

Cycling Scotland is the national cycle promotion organisation for Scotland, working to establish cycling as an acceptable, attractive and practical lifestyle option. We’ve been working with Cycling Scotland to improve cycle journey planning in Scotland. The new mapping guide is part of their Community Cycle Mapping project to encourage improved cycling information in OpenStreetMap to help people get on their bikes.

(Although it’s been created primarily for use in Scotland, the principles and details in it apply elsewhere too.)

The Guide has been written by Andy Allan, who has been contracting for us on a few projects recently, with additional contributions by Martin from CycleStreets. Ayesha Garrett did the design work and has, once again, done a superb job. Thanks to both of them!

 

 

 

Ideas In Transit survey on CycleStreets

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Interested in sharing your views and experiences of CycleStreets and other web-based travel information?

The Ideas in Transit Project at the University of the West of England Bristol is working with CycleStreets to investigate people’s use of CycleStreets and other web-based travel information. The project is looking at the ways in which people use technologies during and to organise travel – particularly where they do so creatively and to solve particular transport challenges they face.

We’d love to hear from you, and there is a chance to win £100 for completing the survey.

Please follow the following link to give your views…
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Cyclestreets

Guest post: ViewRanger – Building a worldwide community of outdoor enthusiasts

Monday, March 12th, 2012

This is a guest post from ViewRanger, who have just added our routing system to their products. They write about ViewRanger and their use of our routing API.

ViewRanger is the mobile app that will turn your smartphone into a complete Outdoors GPS.

It’s become the choice of  walkers, cyclists, mountain bikers, and for many other activities, because of its comprehensive range of features including waypoint navigation, friend tracking, sports GPS, its web based route planning, and extensive choice of maps (including Ordnance Survey) and downloadable route guides (such as from Nick Cotton Rides, Cycle NI, and Cumbria Tourism).  ViewRanger is also used and trusted by more than half of the mountain rescue teams in England, Wales, and Ireland.

ViewRanger has always been passionate about outdoors recreation, it’s what gets us up in the morning and it was the catalyst to start our business – when we delivered our first app back in the summer of 2006 running on early Nokia Symbian smartphones.

Today our ViewRanger Outdoors GPS app can be downloaded on Apple iPhone & iPad, on Android smartphones and tablets, on Symbian smartphones, and on the BlackBerry Playbook; and we have built a community of outdoor enthusiasts in around 150 countries around the world.  Alongside our mobile app is a social network website, My.ViewRanger.com, where users can discover, create, and share their outdoor experiences – all synced with the app on their smartphone and tablet.

The My.ViewRanger site is also a trail publishing platform that makes it easy for organizations and individuals to freely create and publish leisure route guides. All trail guides are branded, and can include rich information including photos, web links, even location-triggered audio or video clips.  Free to use “widgets” make it quick and easy to embed interactive route maps websites, blog posts, and Facebook sites. (Any publishers or local tourism organizations wishing to publish route guides, with navigable route, text and photos, through the ViewRanger platform should contact craig@viewranger.com)

Key to the My.ViewRanger website is the ability to plot routes from scratch, dropping key waypoints along a path.  Our users are often using a mix of on-road and off-road trails – so we needed to go further than a basic “snap to road” capability.

Our approach has been to build a hybrid framework that allows the My.ViewRanger site to select the best-of-breed journey planner for that particular planning action, based on information about the user. So, for cyclists in the UK we can leverage the excellent work done by the CycleStreets team, whilst for backpackers in the US we leverage a planner that uses intelligence about the terrain to deliver off-road route calculation in the mountains. Available right now within the free route planner on the My.ViewRanger website, we will be adding the Route Generation tool into our apps too.

CycleStreets is the best cycling trip planner in the UK – so it was natural that we should choose to integrate this into our platform.  Doing so was very straightforward. The CycleStreets API is very developer friendly and is well documented.  At this stage, we have deliberately kept the options constrained for the user – our aim is that the ViewRanger Route Generation tool should be intelligent about what parameters to pass to the CycleStreets journey planner, personalizing these for each user.

We were up and running with the CycleStreets API quickly, and the routing results are impressive and, of course, show a real knowledge of the issues that concern a cyclist when planning a trip.  Feedback from our UK users has been very positive – with some commenting that we have “built magic” into the My.ViewRanger site.

The CycleStreets API lets us interactively generate and regenerate the route each time that a user plots, or moves, a waypoint. This allows a user to manipulate the route to meet their needs, which is important as our users are typically planning leisure trails rather than wanting to find the most efficient route to commute by bicycle to their workplace.

Once a route has been planned, then it can be synced wirelessly to the user’s ViewRanger mobile app, or text and photos can be added and the guided route can be published and shared with the whole ViewRanger community.

ViewRanger has been a #1 ranked app on iTunes and other appstores in many countries around the world.  Partnering with talented organizations such as CycleStreets helps us to keep delivering the best outdoors gps experience available and helping outdoor enthusiasts discover, plan, navigate and share their trips.

The ViewRanger GPS app is available to download for free on Android, Symbian, and BlackBerry Playbook, and is available to download for £1.99 on Apple.  Access to the My.ViewRanger website is free.

   

   

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

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