A Mapnificent Tool

There’s no shortage of creative geniuses out there looking for ways to take raw transit data and turn it into something useful (or at least fun to play with). Here’s one to try. It’s called Mapnificent. Using Google Maps, it’ll show you how far you can travel using transit, cycling and walking from any given address within the time parameter of your choice.

I tried it by asking it to show me how far I can go within 15 minutes from the lovely Capital Metro headquarters building at 5th/Pleasant Valley at around 6 a.m. on a weekday. Here’s what it came up with:

Looks like a ghost hovering next to a microphone; Hermann Rorschach may have had a different interpretation.

Seems a little generous especially on a bad traffic day. As Human Transit and our friends at The Source in L.A. pointed out (we can call them our friends since they listed us as one of the eight essential transit agency blogs earlier this year), Mapnificent has some quirks. But it’s definitely neat to try it.

Here’s more detail about how it works from Mapnificent’s creator:

If you have a brilliant idea for a transit application, we have loads of data posted online. Help yourself.

9 thoughts on “A Mapnificent Tool

  1. Don Dickson

    LOL I had the exact same reaction that you did, I looked at that image and said “Geez, it looks like Caspar the Ghost.” It looked like the Caspar balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. 🙂

    Speaking of transit data apps, I was wondering something over this past holiday weekend….when you query Google Transit on Thanksgiving Day, does the app know that you’re running a Sunday schedule and not a weekday schedule? On the following day does it know that you’re running a Saturday schedule?

  2. Another limitation to look out for – it doesn’t go outside the service area. (a friend on twitter and myself both work outside the service area and talked about this yesterday – in my case I’m just a bit outside the area – about a 3/4 mile walk from closest bus stop – but you can’t get the circle to include my work address no matter how far you drag the slider).

      1. You can make the slider time as long as possible (3 hours) but it’ll never draw to an address outside the service area even though getting to my office from my home via 2 buses and a 3/4 mile walk from the bus stop would take about 90 minutes in the morning. Again, this is because my office is a bit outside of the service area.

  3. Van

    Actually, Google Transit is aware of our holiday schedules. The data we provide to Google, as well as the data on our own Capital Metro Trip Planner, uses a calendar system to identify when specific services are available. For holidays such as Thanksgiving, we include an entry to disable the normal weekday schedule, and substitute the appropriate information.

    Van Sutherland
    GIS Coordinator

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