New online mapping facilities

This article was published in 2006, in Newsletter 67.

The Campaign has launched a suite of new online mapping facilities. Built by Simon Nuttall, and based around the Google Maps system, the Campaign now has a major new facility on which to base several areas of campaigning.

A photograph of East Road, with caption, which a Campaign member has added to the photomap.
Photo: screenshot of phot mapping

The system essentially consists of a map of Cambridge within which you can scroll about. You can choose a map view, a satellite view (in amazing detail!) or a hybrid of the two. Overlaid onto this map are marker points, photographs, and lines representing routes.

You can reach the map tools by choosing ‘Mapping’ from the menu alongside, and on any page of the webs site.

Photomap

The Photomap system allows you to add a photo taken by a digital camera (or scanned in) to the website and pin-point it by clicking on a map. Various other details about a photo can then be added, e.g. whether this is about cycle parking, is a cycleway feature, etc. Already, hundreds of photos have been added, but we hope this will increase to thousands in coming months!

This will enable the Campaign to build, we hope fairly rapidly, databases of problems around the city, demonstrating the scale of problems cyclists face on a daily basis and giving a really visual incentive for the authorities to address the problem.

For instance, prioritised lists of places where cycle parking is needed, or where obstructions need to be removed, could be built up.

The photo-map system will, in time, become a key campaigning tool.

You can browse around the map itself and click on marker points and thumbnails to see full-size versions of the pictures uploaded. For instance, drag the map to the new Gonville Place crossing (see article in this Newsletter) to see photos of this appallingly conceived scheme, with its forest of bollards!

There is also a page showing the most ‘latest and greatest’ photos added by users. Photos can be rated, too!

Lastly, you can enter a search phrase, e.g. “cycle parking” to obtain pictures on that theme.

Journey planner

A journey planned online being ‘flown over’ in 3D,
using the Google Earth program.
Photo screenshot linked with Google Earth

The Journey Planner allows people to click on a start point and an end point, and the system will then plot for you an ‘ideal’ route. You can select whether you’d prefer the fastest, shortest, or quietest route between the two points.

The system will then generate a map showing the route, and a table of all the ‘legs’ of the route, including how long each will take and what the conditions are (e.g. quiet street, busy road, park area, etc.).

If you have the Google Earth program you can then see a three-dimensional flyover of the route you’ve just drawn!

Routes can then be saved and, if you think they might be of use to other people, published online, just at the click of a button.

The planner works out routes on the basis of the network known to it. We currently have an estimated 80% of the Cambridge network drawn in, and you can help us get the remainder into the system – just log in, and start drawing away!

The system is intended to be fully interactive. To get started, go to the website above and create a login user name. You can then immediately start to add photos to the photomap, and draw routes on the journey planner.

Feedback is warmly welcomed, particularly during this initial phase – there is a feedback form included within the system.

Many new developments are planned in coming months, so have a go and let us know what you think!

We thank Simon for the huge amount of work he has put in, over many months, in creating this great new facility.

Martin Lucas-Smith, Co-ordinator