Tuesday, 1 March 2011


We were away from home for a few days last week, and since we got back I've not been very organised, so I've only just got round to catching up on some of the emails that I missed. Among them was a link to the Edinburgh Innertube map, from The Bike Station.

It looks good, and I'm intrigued to know how such a different approach works out in practice.

I can imagine it being useful on some journeys for some cyclists. It doesn't show anything other than the cycle routes, which keeps things simple. So for anyone who knows where they want to get to, and has a rough idea of the street layout, then it certainly reduces things to the minimum. As long as each of the junctions is sufficiently well signed I can see it working quite well. Without knowing the area it's hard to judge though.

Apart from its practical use, this is also quite an unusual take on things. I can see something like this provoking people to take a fresh look at the routes they might be able to use. That in itself is no bad thing. It also seems to be gaining quite a lot of attention, so it must be helping the Bike Station to spread the word. No bad thing either.

The other thing that occurs to me is that, around here we seem to have quite a lot of bits of cycling infrastructure, but getting from A to B often involves finding a decent way of connecting them up. Something along these lines could be quite a good way of working out where there are gaps in the network.

Of course for general getting around, there is always the usual alternative to fall back on, along with increasingly sophisticated support for journey planning. OSM has a reputation for being particularly thorough in its coverage of Edinburgh, and I suspect that if I was trying to find my way around up there then  it would still be my preferred choice. It's always nice to see some different thinking though.

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