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T-Kartor roll out city wayfinding basemap for Toronto

The City of Toronto will roll out its successful TO360 Wayfinding Strategy across the entire city during 2017-2023. T-Kartor and partners Steer Davies Gleeve have been awarded the contract.

Toronto Wayfinding Strategy key milestones:
* 2007 – Walk21 Toronto Conference inspired Toronto’s Walk Strategy
* 2011/12 – TO360 Phase 1: Wayfinding Strategy and Outline Business Case
* 2014/15 – TO360 Phase II: Pilot Implementation of 61 TO360 wayfinding elements
* 2015 – Pilot evaluation
* 2017 – TO360 Phase III: Commencement of City-wide roll-out

TO360 wayfinding signs are designed to help pedestrians navigate the city in an intuitive way, with heads-up maps orientated to face direction of travel, a 5 minute walk circle to encourage walking and illustrated landmark buildings to reinforce a mental picture of the area.

T-Kartor worked alongside Steer Davies Gleave in the development of a pilot project of 62 signs, which were tested on the public with very encouraging results. People were happy to see the City taking the initiative to develop a wayfinding system, and felt it would provide a big benefit to the city:
* 13% reduction in walk times for specific journeys
* 33% increase in walking trips and 27% increase in time spent walking in the area
* Over 50% reduction in auto mode share for journeys that start and finish within the area
* Over 50% reduction in people feeling lost

The 2012 Outline Business Case was updated based on the pilot evaluation resulting in an estimated benefit-cost ratio of 3.7:1. This means that for every dollar invested, almost four dollars are returned through transportation benefits over the 25-year project life cycle (including capital costs and maintenance).

The study also confirmed that a city-wide GIS database would best serve the future requirements of the City. This core system will be totally scalable for a large number of end-users and product families, feeding into other systems (such as the PATH underground walking network, cycling network and transit routes) and providing viewers with a way to explore off-street destinations.

T-Kartor builds on experience with Legible London (Transport for London) and WalkNYC (New York City DOT). Our City Wayfinding platform has created thousands of world class wayfinding mapping products, backed up by an online portal for content management, asset management and maintenance planning.

T-Kartor local area maps for Dublin tram system

T-Kartor are providing local area maps at all Luas tram stops across Dublin when the new Luas Cross City extension goes live in December. The passenger transport maps are being provided to Ireland’s National Transport Authority in association with our partners, creative agency Catalysto.

Our maps will help travellers to find their destination when alighting at the tram stop and improve connectivity with other forms of transport nearby, including rail, bus, cycle and taxi.

We are producing these for the NTA as part of a system designed to generate affordable maps, using open data, at rail stations across Ireland. Our online management portal will be used to order and deliver the maps, and can be extended to support asset management with a geographic product overview.

With the Cross City, Dublin is getting a sought-after extension to the hugely successful Red and Green Lines developed in 2004. This new line traverses the city centre to join the existing routes, adding 13 central stops, then continues 6 km north to the rail station at Broombridge. It also connects areas north and south of the River Liffey, acting as an interchange between Luas, Bus, Rail and Taxi modes.

The Luas network has experienced passenger levels in excess of 34 million per year, and the Cross City extension is expected to increase this figure by another 8 million. It is also projected to result in 1 million fewer journeys each year by private car.

T-Kartor creates digital maps for NYC subway displays

T-Kartor's newly installed WalkNYC digital screen

New York City MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) are taking a major step towards the future of transport information design with digital screens being installed at 33 newly renovated subway stations.

T-Kartor were asked to develop a specially designed digital version of the printed local area maps we are creating for all 450 subway stations.

Optimised for low resolution
This special adaptation is necessary because digital screens, even so-called HD (high definition) screens and televisions have a very low resolution, compared to your laptop or desktop monitor. This means that smaller features and symbols, or lighter texts are rendered illegible. The images below illustrate the problem:

WalkNYC City Wayfinding maps on digital screens for New York subway maps

T-Kartor carried out a thorough study of fonts, colours and text sizes to achieve increased legibility. Finally, specially designed graphic files were tested in prototypes of the screens, including a study of the ambient conditions, which will influence colours and contrast.

The result was a fine, legible map, which a viewer will perceive as identical to the established printed brand and a wealth of expertise gained, which will form valuable input to the success of future interactive products.

In the New York press:
Brooklyn Reporter
NY Daily News
Gothamist

T-Kartor chosen as Small Business Supplier of the Year

 

 
 

Two and a half years into the “World’s Largest” Geospatial Products and Services Contract, together with Harris Corporation, we are proud to have been chosen as Harris’ Small Business Supplier of the Year. Harris motivates this choice as follows:

“T-Kartor has collaborated with Harris on various Foundation GEOINT Content Management (FGCM) Alpha-Contracting efforts, including A-DO37 and A-DO31, where they contributed valuable insights, feedback and inputs into shaping future technical and schedule requirements for FGCM task orders. They have confidently stepped in to support the critical efforts for which other subcontractors were unwilling or unable to perform. In addition to the standard Content Mana gement efforts, T-Kartor has been chosen to support IRAD’s and other peripheral, strategic activities on the FGCM program.

T-Kartor has been flexible to meet the Harris targets as well as cognizant of the significance of continuous improvement and affordability. T-Kartor has shown exceptional commitment to the growth of the FGCM franchise, making significant investments into the growth of its business by hiring over ten new staff members. Without the support of T-Kartor, Harris would have possibly needed to perform the work in house at a greater cost to the company. Furthermore, they have been involved in the development of software tools that streamline the production of geospatial datasets, such as tools for data thinning necessary for automatically displaying map data at smaller scales and tools for conflation or combining of multiple data features into one single map object. These many contributions are pivotal to the success of the FGCM task orders and future Harris awards.

Congratulations on receiving this well deserved award!”

T-Kartor wins another TfL mapping contract

We are proud to have increased our share of TfL’s cartographic framework. T-Kartor is now the sole supplier of pedestrian and cycling information products containing mapping from the Legible London Database (which T-Kartor maintain under a separate contract).

A whole family products are included in this contract:

Local area maps
Highly-detailed geographic local area maps used for various ad-hoc purposes


Legible London mapping panels
These ‘heads-up’ maps are rotated to match the direction of travel and are placed on a number of pedestrian sign types. Additional information on these signs include street and landmarks indices and directional arrows to nearby neighbourhoods, landmarks or transport nodes.


Continuing your journey posters and leaflets
Highly-detailed geographic local area maps used at transport nodes such as station exits and bus station hubs. These maps usually appear with a schematic map of bus or river services. In some cases they are reproduced as an A4 leaflet.


Cycle Superhighway mapping panels
Cycle Superhighway mapping is elongated to suit the extra distance covered by bike, compared to a five minute walk distance.


Cycle Hire Docking Stations
These maps appear on the cycle hire infrastructure and involve an added technical complexity. The position of all nearby docking stations are shown on each map, so these maps are created paying consideration to the latest status of all stations within a certain radius.

We look forward to four more years continuing our excellent relationship with our highly valued customer.

Report links NYC Citi Bike usage to commuter journeys


Citi Bike in New York City is mainly being used for a short stage of a longer multi-stage commute, illustrating the importance of good wayfinding information at cycle hire stations.

A new report into New York’s Citi Bike scheme has been released by the NYU Rudin Centre for Transportation, available for download here.

Citi Bike is proving a success, with 14 million trips during 2016 representing a rise from 10 million the previous year. By the end of this year the system will have doubled in size to 12,000 bikes and 700 stations. The NYU Rudin Centre for Transportation claims that the diversity of transportation modes are what ‘makes New York move’.

The report suggests that riders are using Citi Bike for ‘last mile’ connections on longer transit trips, closing gaps in the fixed route public transport network.

This is why T-Kartor specialises in producing map information specially designed for each stage of the journey. In order to encourage a shift to sustainable forms of transport, complex journeys must be simplified and more options must be simply presented. At bus stops, for example, we produce maps of available bus services, but also local area maps for those searching for their destination, and onward journey maps showing alternative modes of transport in the vicinity.

Key information for cyclists on New York’s Citi Bike maps (produced by T-Kartor) includes safe and recommended routes; infrastructure such as segregated cycle paths; bike hire stations and cycle repair shops.

Information designed specifically for each mode of transport (including walking and cycling) requires basemaps in varying scales, formats and media. T-Kartor’s City Mapping Platform provides one core basemap, constantly maintained in collaboration with city authorities, with outputs to all necessary scales, formats and media. These include information totems, printed posters, hand held map leaflets, digital displays and smart phone apps.

The power of wayfinding signage to influence behaviour

Always keen to use our mapping products in situ and view them from a user perspective, I recently decided to carry out some research at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The last time I visited was at the height of the Olympic Games and the area was teeming with tourists clutching the T-Kartor produced Host City Map.

I have read about legacy plans for the area and the London Legacy Development Corporation, a mayoral planning authority with the remit to manage ongoing regeneration of the Park and surrounding areas. One stated goal was to link the Olympic Park to the communities in the surrounding urban area. Legible London wayfinding maps are intended to help towards this goal, so I planned to see how well the system works in reality.

As part of T-Kartor’s creation and maintenance of the Legible London database, we developed the online LLAMA portal, from where Transport for London (TfL) can manage Legible London products in a geographic asset management view (above). From the portal I could see the positions of 43 Legible London products. An excel output broke down the details: 11 bus stop maps, 8 vicinity maps at stations (including DLR) and 23 walking totems, of which 4 are OWCRE (Olympic Walking and Cycling Route) signs along the canal towpath. In addition, the LLAMA portal allowed me to study the layout and rotation angle of each sign, and see a preview of the printed artwork (below).

What struck me on arrival at Stratford Station is the complexity of the area. A vast shopping centre and transport hub were my first impressions, but without a map it would be very difficult to appreciate its layout. I made my way across a huge raised walkway towards the old Olympic Stadium, now home to West Ham United Football Club, where I hired a (TfL) Santander cycle.

I often hire a TfL cycle in London, and head off in any direction with the confidence (due to the high density of mapping products) that I will not get lost. Although I was very unsure of the area, I soon came across map products and felt confident to explore.

The area is still heavily under construction, and does have a very deserted feel about it. However, I am fascinated by the level of investment in infrastructure that is still going on, years after the Olympic Games left town. The area is trying to encourage growing businesses, with Here East digital quarter, 3 Mills Film and TV Studios and International Quarter London (new home for progressive business).

My cycle ride took me first through the slightly desolate park, around the outside towards Hackney Wick, then along the canal riverwalk. Within a very short cycle I had experienced areas of urban decay and vandalism; recreational areas along the canalside, where people tending their barges lended a feeling of safety; vast, barricaded building sites; new business developments and the impressively landscaped grassy verges of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

An area of such contrasts, both negative and positive, needs cohesion and context. Legible London mapping helps by displaying how the area fits together, how to quickly walk or cycle to areas of safety and just how close everything is to where you are standing. The familiar design will have helped many unfamiliar visitors to the Olympics to feel that the area is as much a part of London as the West End.

If anything, I was disappointed by the lack of density of the wayfinding signage. Once away from the Stratford transport hub I found myself worrying that I had cycled ‘off the map’ before seeing another mapping signpost and breathing a sigh of relief.

I had also expected the area to be more complete than it is. I will have to repeat my field study in a few years and see if the sense of cohesion is improved as well as the density of wayfinding signs.

T-Kartor maps Stockholm

Together with the award-winning design company Familjen Pangea, T-Kartor has completed a project to create new maps for the tram line no 7 to Djurgården. The map designs are based on experience from our successful projects in London, New York, Birmingham, Houston, Toronto, Dublin and Paris.

The detailed maps show all points of interest in the neighbourhood and the best ways to find them or complete the journey to your final destination.

The project also included new maps for the commuter Ferry lines 80, 82 and 89.

“This is yet more proof of our long-term customer relationships with close cooperation and a continuous development of new projects. This project really shows the benefit of using a consistent strategy for Mapping a Connected City to support sustainable mobility strategies. We look forward to supporting Stockholm as it strives towards a Greener Capital.”
Erik Körling, Managing Director T-Kartor Content Management

T-Kartor maps Houston Super Bowl

T-Kartor Prototypes Wayfinding in Houston, TX: Discovery Green Super Bowl Live Kiosk

T-Kartor have developed a pilot mapping system to support the City of Houston and the Super Bowl Host Committee. The primary focus of the pilot project was to provide Legible Wayfinding for those attending “Super Bowl Live” in Houston’s Discovery Green Park.

T-Kartor utilized open data sources, City of Houston GIS data and Houston Metro data to produce a public transit focused product to drive traffic from Discovery Green efficiently to the NRG Stadium.

The product was to focus on conveying walkability around the Houston Downtown area as well as presenting all the differing transit possibilities to those attending the Super Bowl.

The future for Houston Wayfinding and Public Transit looks bright and we look forward to continued progress following next week’s Big Game.

T-Kartor demonstrates GT at DGI Conference

Last week the Defence Geospatial Intelligence Conference was held at QEII Conference Centre in London.

The take home message from DGI was; getting the right data at the right time to the right user.

T-Kartor in coordination with Babcock UK and Harris Corporation demonstrated GT with full end to end support from our partners.

GT offers a platform to unify all users of an organization. Ensuring changes in the data and areas of interest are conveyed to the user immediately. Inputs from all levels of an organization from the strategic command to the tactical edge should be shared and disseminated quickly and efficiently. Regardless of system, user GIS knowledge or mission.

We received fantastic feedback and looking forward to exciting opportunities in 2017.

http://dgi.wbresearch.com/