Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Disruption - Closed Stations and Crowd Messages

In the serie on cycle disruption here is a new one on the latest tube strike in London today. It is the first morning into the tube strike and chaos is rolling into the city. Some earlier posts on the subject in the past can be found HERE (following the disruption), HERE (disruption second take) and HERE (every year). There are only very few tube line actually running a service, Northern Line being one of them. However this might not mean that you can get a train on this line and it aso does not mean you will arrive at the desired destination as many stations along the line are closed.

For the latest updates on the open stations please see the official TFL website.

Image taken from the BBC London Tube Strike Map - September 2010 / a platform for crowd sourced real time travel information.

But even there you might not get the most up to date information. If you put more trust in real time crown sourced information you can go to the BBC test mashup-crownsource-tubestrike-map and click around for infos on our local area.

There are a number of ways you can participate: a) Sending an email to londontravel@bbc.co.uk, b) Sending a text to 81333 starting your message LONDON STRIKE, c) Sending a tweet with the hashtag #tubestrike, d) Uploading an audioboo with the hashtag #tubestrike or directly to the BBC London stream, e) Filling in the form on the site

The page is set up to log incidents over a longer period of time. The timeline is set for a whole year. There is even a play back feature integrated that wil replay the information logged and can potentially visualised the ebb and flows of the system. Currently there seems only data available from today so no point replaying it, but in a month time this might be very interesting already. The project could grow into a valuable alternative to the official information.

Reports are logged on the site and can be accessed. In this sense everyone has access to the source data and can verify the accuracy of the information. This a note in the light of the recent discussion about the validation of the crowd sourced data at the CRESC conference in Oxford. Making the data available is one way of dealing with this issue. However if the amount of data grow too large, and hopefully it will in the case of crowd sourced real time transport information, it becomes impossible for individuals to crawl through the mountain of snippets and verify individual pieces.

Image taken from the Oliver O'Brien's cycle hire visualisation / London Cycle Hire Dock Status Map taken on Tuesday 07th September 2010 09h30.

Since there is little progress to be made today on public trasport the London Cycle Hire scheme would be a perfect alternative. A quick look at the viualisation map over at Oiver O'Brien's page draws a rather pessimistic picture. The scheme has sort of come to a lock down too with all bikes being parked in the centre and empty station in zone two. People who have planned ahead managed to grab one this morning and traveled in by bike. There will be the big run this afternoon to catch one of the central bikes to ride it back out again to avoid the long queues at the crowded bus stop.

On twitter the tube strike is a big topic with alo Steven Fry taking to it linking this 2006 clip on frustrated commuters and the perceived incapability of TFL to meet their needs. This is linked without comment, this discussion is too complicated and personal. I believe, from past experience, the staff working today are doing quite a good job given the extend of the shutdown.

No comments: