Mapumental: Time & Scenicness in Maps


MySociety has given us a sneak peak at Mapumental, a map app that lets you pivot on travel-time, “scenicness”, and house-price in the London area. Just enter a postal code and if you’re looking for a home in the area Mapumental should be very helpful to you. It is an update to a previous foray into temporal maps (you can try it out on the embed in a Radar post of mine).

The map has a slider to control each of the dimensions. The time slider lets you choose how long you want to commute to get to the desired postal code by 9AM. This is a big change from the original map, which let you . The scenic slider lets you determine how nice of a place you want to live in. The housing price map The map above is quite depressing. It shows the areas you could live that will take you less than an hour and a half to get to work, has housing available for 750K GBP and is just barely scenic at level 3. Your options open up a lot if you ignore scenicness for this zipcode.

To make a useful and useable map with this many controls and data points is difficult. The base maps come from Open Street Map. The travel data (rail, bus, ferry) comes from Traveline (National Public Transport Data Repository); it’s all based on a Tuesday in October, 2008. The map tiles, sliders and overall UI was inspired built by Stamen Design. MySociety’s travel-time maps were pioneered by Chris Lightfoot.

The most unique dataset included in Mapumental is “scenicness”. The data was gathered by user votes in the web app Scenic Or Not. As Tom told me, “We have 173,816 1*1 km squares voted on at least 3 times each, by different people. We’re 80% of the way to a full dataset. Data comes from Geograph.”

scenic or not

They’ve got more planned for it like making it public, allowing for alternate arrival and departure times, and allowing for multiple destinations to allow for couples. Those are all great additions, but what I would really like to see is either open-sourced code or an API so say that other geographic areas could have this functionality. How would this change the real estate market? If you could see this style of map for any industrialized area would it change the way you think about your quality of life and what it costs. Sounds like a great task for real estate sites Zillow or Trulia, alternately it’s something that Walkscore could tackle.

Right now Mapumental is in Beta, but if you want early access Tom Steinberg sent a hint to BoingBoing: “Beta’s private at the moment but we’re handing out invites in exchange for declarations of love.” Send your missives here. To learn even more about the project check out the short video after the jump.

(via Cory @ Boingboing)

Updated: Properly attributed Stamen’s role on the project

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