Thursday, January 21, 2010

I miss those crazy things called maps

Both Spacing and Torontoist are reporting that the TTC's long awaited trip planner will launch within the next two weeks. According to Torontoist, here are some of the features we can expect:

  • Calculating the best route, step-by-step instructions, maps, distances and departure arrival time based on two points.
  • Trip times will be based on schedules, rather than real-time data.
  • The planner should recognize addresses, intersections, and landmarks.
  • Selecting the best route based on maximum walking distance, accessibility needs or certain kinds modes.
  • Better accuracy over MyTTC.ca.
Trip planners don't put more buses on the road, but they do make getting around the city easier by literally pointing us in the right direction. They also make transit more attractive by eliminating the "I don't know when the buses run / don't know which bus to take" argument. But, I do have two concerns over the TTC's plans. 

First of all, I think that the ability to remove certain modes (buses, streetcars or subways) from a trip request is a very bad idea. It really irks me when people would rather drive all the way downtown to avoid spending 20 minutes on a bus to the train station (sorry JTS!) and I feel that allowing riders to deselect buses or streetcars (and we all know that this is what will happen) encourages (or fails to discourage) this kind of behaviour. Secondly, I feel that a mobile version is absolutely necessary, as mobile web browsers do not handle these kind of trip planners very well. Google Transit is my personal favourite, as it can use a phone's GPS chip. Joe Clark and I have sparred over this issue in the past, but, good sir, there is no reason why you cannot have yours and I cannot have mine concurrently.

FYI, MyTTC.ca's written directions work with mobile devices.

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2 Comments:

At 1/22/2010 1:42 PM , Blogger Joe Clark said...

A public corporation’s trip planner can’t be inaccessible. Neither can a private corporation’s, at least in Canada. The difference is the latter is less likely to be sued, but gosh, you’d be surprised there.

I don’t know anybody who disagrees with the idea of serving accurate, correctly-marked-up data to a wide range of public and private third parties, including your precious Google.

 
At 1/22/2010 2:50 PM , Blogger Andrae Griffith said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 

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