mySociety have put the analysis of geographical information into the mainstream press, with the London evening newspaper, The Standard running a report today on the Travel Maps they have created working with the Dept. for Transport in the UK.
This is great to see, and again compliments to Tom and Chris for the work they are doing, but don’t you think it is strange that the usefulness of this type of spatial analysis has been popularised in the eyes of the media by the guys at mySociety and not the traditional users of GI who have had access to this data and the tools to produce isochrones for many years.
BTW I live right between the two red vectors to the west of London indicating faster travel times.. ah well 🙂
Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.
7 replies on “Spatial analysis hits the mainstream..”
From the bottom of the page you’re linking to:
They did it because they had the vision, but also because they had a huge financial leg-up (in effect). Nobody else has done it because the OS’s licensing rules make it far too expensive.
“If all the data we’ve used had been available for free…” Now isn’t that an interesting idea?
You miss my point for many years people WITH access to both the data and the tools available to them and not had the impact mySociety has had. This is not so much about access to information in my mind, rather how the results of analysis are communicated to the general public.
True, but I did tackle that: I said – they had the vision.
Others who had the access and the ability likely didn’t have the vision – and maybe were too busy working to make money rather than produce something enriching in a different sense.
I’m sure I use to wear a pair of jeans ‘tie dyed’ almost identically to the graphic above back in the late 70’s… happy dayz eh..
We made some inquiries with the Ordnance Survey sales people to discover how much it would have to to produce a single one of the maps if we hadn’t been covered by the government’s licence.
The answer is £1032.71 to produce a single 40*40km 1:25,000 map for internal business use by one person, for one year.
Given that for the report we produced a slew of different maps at different scales and in different locations, and then served them about 30,000 times, I dread to think what this would have meant…
I work in the Transportation industry. Producing accessibility measures is part of our business as a consultant you need to be paid for the work you do. Unfortunately to the clients the extra cost of mapping the results (rather than just ranking areas by a score) is often not seen as essential.
This is bizarre but predictable as it is an easy way to save a bit of taxpayers money. The added value given by a map is enormous compared to the cost, but hey if they don’t want (to pay for) it – why should we do it for free?
I think the reason why it takes people who does it for free to make it to the news – is the fact that people are doing it for free – and not the fact it’s a ‘new’ idea – which it is not.
Good points, I think neatly summarise the problem.