T-Kartor to create bus maps for Paris

T-Kartor has been chosen by the Syndicat des Transports d’Île-de-France (STIF) to supply up to 40,000 automated bus passenger information maps throughout the Île-de-France region.

Passenger information is a requirement for all of the 40,000 bus stops in the Île-de-France. Previously it has proved difficult for the STIF to coordinate 80 separate bus service operators to produce this information to a consistent high standard. T-Kartor’s online production system will automate the production of the information, allowing bus service operators to login, order and download information for the appropriate bus stops, then print and mount the posters at bus stops.
STIF
The maps, produced by T-Kartor to meet the STIF’s detailed design specifications, comprise a basemap with relevant places of interest. A 5 minute walk circle is added help users appreciate the distances involved. Bus stops symbolised within the 5 minute walk circle are accompanied by a routes tabs which denote the bus routes serving the stop and the end destination to show direction.

STIF

T-Kartor will utilise our considerable experience in this field throughout the project. Our online platform is already deployed to existing customers such as Transport for London and the New York City Department for Transport. The system’s automated output tools will now be customised so that all of STIF’s products meet their high standards for quality and ease of distribution.

The first phase delivery is expected to be previewed for selected bus service operators by the end of November.

‘All change’ on Transport for London public information


London Underground
This weekend sees the introduction of a 24hr tube service reflecting the 24hr life of the city and catching up with New York, Berlin and Sydney. The roll-out, starting with the Victoria and Central Lines then extending to Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines this autumn, is a strategy calculated to cut night journey times by an average of 20 mins. It is expected to boost the night-time economy by £360m and create almost 2000 permanent jobs.

More than 80 of the 350 Bus Spider maps produced by T-Kartor will require updates to reflect these changes, including a Tube Owl symbol at all stations operating a 24hr service and Night Bus Spiders for services interchanging with these stations.


nightbus

Being a key supplier of customer information to TfL is not only about understanding a complex transport network and presenting it simply and clearly, but evolving the information design to reflect new strategies. Our mapping information supports transport strategies by drawing attention to improvements and helping locals and visitors to understand changes and how to benefit from them.


Cycle route information
Quietways are being introduced by TfL as a network of radial and orbital routes linking key destinations in ways which are safer and favourable for cyclists. The new routes follow backstreets, through parks and along waterways and tree-lined streets. To develop these into continuous cycle routes, new wayfinding, surface and junction improvements are being introduced, while barriers, such as chicanes, are being removed.


Cycle Superhighways map layers

Cycle Superhighways are longer, faster routes running from outer London into and across Central London. They often follow wide, main roads, with as much segregation as possible from traffic, especially at junctions, to increase safety.


Quietways on Cycle Hire Docking Station (Design beta only)

T-Kartor has included the quietways, existing and planned, as separate live layers in the Legible London database. These layers can be used in a variety of information products, including interactive layers on digital information.

Follow this blog for how TfL will be creating and managing data for its cycle journey planner.

Royalty free basemap for Dublin Bus


Existing bus information from Dublin Bus

T-Kartor are creating a royalty free basemap for Dublin Bus to use freely for a range of transport information products. In our experience, licensing costs for derived map uses are becoming increasingly unpopular as modern online mapping solutions are getting us used to expecting free maps.

Here it could be relevant to point out some differences between free online maps and a quality basemap made specifically for a purpose which includes print products. While free online mapping is excellent for its intended purpose, that purpose is to underpin the offered functionality of an interactive application. Printing out an internet map at A4 size will reveal that the quality is not suitable for a larger scale printed product. Equally important is the content of the map, which should be tailored to the needs of the user, rather than catering for a generic world-wide user profile.

The art of cartography lies in choosing the optimal density of content and displaying that content in a clear information hierarchy and appealing design. This content, hierarchy and design should be individual to each scale at which the map will be used (and printed). In the case of Dublin Bus we will add layers of bus information as versatile route vectors, to be supplied as an integral part of the basemap. These data layers will be carefully aligned to the base at appropriate scales with a plan for their maintenance. The vectors can then be used in a variety of ways in future, such as automated information products or online interactive bus information.

The unlocked, layered basemap, supplied in Adobe Illustrator format, will be owned by Dublin Bus for any future intended use. This is in accordance with T-Kartor principles which seek not to lock customers into our proprietary solution. We are confident instead that we can offer services on top of the basemap which are so good our customers won’t want to go elsewhere.

T-Kartor named in Transport for London’s 100 top design icons

T-Kartor have been credited with the design of the Bus Spider Map, cited among TfL’s top 100 design icons. (Click link and see item 58).

While we cannot possibly take all the credit, we have contributed much to the design since the maps were first conceived and have supplied TfL with more than 350 ’Bus Spiders’ in the past 15 years.

The concept of the Bus Spider map is unbeatable in its simplicity. Rather than show all the complex bus routes in a given area, the routes available from a small hub of stops are displayed in a schematic diagram allowing graphic simplicity and balance. The popularity of the Bus Spider map has since spread to many other cities around the world, see some of our example designs below.

At T-Kartor we are always looking for ways to save money for our customers while at the same time improving quality. As part of a suite of software creating automated transport information for South Yorkshire PTE, we developed a semi-automated Bus Spider module. Automated processes reduced production times from 3 days to 3 hours!

Stockholm Spider Map


Stavanger, Norway Spider Map


Southern Railway Spider Map


South Yorkshire PTE (semi-automated) Spider Map