CycleStreets: Our Story - presentation to Net2Camb event

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Here is our presentation at the Net2Camb event.

See:

http://www.cyclestreets.net/blog/2010/12/29/net2camb-meetup-building-cyclestreets/

http://net2camb.org/2011/01/january-net2camb-meetup-building-cyclestreets/

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CycleStreets: Our Story - presentation to Net2Camb event

  1. 1. CycleStreets: our story Martin Lucas-Smith www.cyclestreets.net twitter: @cyclestreets UK-wide cycle journey planner & photomap For Cyclists, By Cyclists
  2. 2. CycleStreets: who? Simon Nuttall Routemaster Martin Lucas-Smith Webmaster … and various people helping out in various ways!
  3. 3. What is it? Cycle journey planner Online service Photomap Campaigning tool System of two parts:
  4. 4. Journey planner
  5. 5. Journey planner: features <ul><li>Plan route from A-B, anywhere in UK </li></ul><ul><li>Simplest possible interface </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Click-click-plan, and simple Namefinder </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gives set of route choices </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(fastest, quietest, balanced) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Takes accounts of hills (uses NASA data) </li></ul><ul><li>Turn-by-turn directions </li></ul><ul><li>Photos-en-route </li></ul>
  6. 6. Journey planner: features <ul><li>Shows distance, time, CO2, soon: calories </li></ul><ul><li>Google Street View at any point </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback system </li></ul><ul><li>Localised versions for easy linking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. cambridge.cyclestreets.net </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Link methods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. www.cyclestreets.net/journey/to/cb1+2py/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>‘ Fly in Google Earth’ </li></ul><ul><li>Export to GPS </li></ul>
  7. 7. Photomap
  8. 8. Photomap: features <ul><li>Icons on map (per type of feature) </li></ul><ul><li>Click to view image and info </li></ul><ul><li>Add photo (+ ‘my photos’ view) </li></ul><ul><li>Categorisation </li></ul><ul><li>Photo of the day (+ tweeted) </li></ul><ul><li>Tagging </li></ul><ul><li>Gallery (theme/issue) </li></ul><ul><li>Photos nearby </li></ul>
  9. 9. Mobile <ul><li>Key features on small screen </li></ul><ul><li>iPhone app out </li></ul><ul><li>Android under development </li></ul><ul><li>Generic mobile web version under development </li></ul><ul><li>Can you help us code these? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Mobile <ul><li>Other apps now incorporating our routing </li></ul><ul><li>Public API </li></ul><ul><li>Bike Hub – great world-first iPhone bike real-SatNav </li></ul><ul><li>In the leading Boris Bike app, ‘London Cycle’ </li></ul>
  11. 11. Why? <ul><li>Fundamentally, we want to see “More people cycling, more safely, more often” </li></ul><ul><li>New cycle users face many challenges in UK: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Poor infrastructure, traffic hostility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confidence cycling (address with training) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural/identity issues: not yet mainstream </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of utility bikes in shops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Routes – different to car routes! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We try to tackle the last problem </li></ul><ul><li>... and the first (through the Photomap) </li></ul>
  12. 12. How it works (briefly) <ul><li>1. Data comes from people collecting data on-street for OpenStreetMap </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The ‘Wikipedia of maps’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Factual data only – e.g. presence of road </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NOT “This is a nice cycle route” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2. We take OSM data ‘off the shelf’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Though we’re part of the community in practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Import each week (daily in ideal world): fresh data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversion process is complex – understanding the data </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. How it works (briefly) <ul><li>3. Score each type of path: </li></ul><ul><li>4. Take account of hills (add/remove penalty) </li></ul><ul><li>5. Account for turn delays (work ongoing) </li></ul><ul><li>6. Take account of detailed cyclist behaviour (ditto) </li></ul>
  14. 14. How it works (briefly) <ul><li>7. Compress the network, to make the system much faster (system called ‘Cello’): </li></ul>Park: 4 nodes & 7 ways After: 3 nodes & 3 ways 8 9 9 A B C D A B C 4 10 6 3 6: BC 7: AD,BD 9: AC
  15. 15. How it works (briefly) <ul><li>So each path / road / shortcut / etc. now has a score </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Higher score = worse for cycling (more ‘friction’) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>8. Find the lowest total score from A to B </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Standard problem in computer science, we use A* method </li></ul></ul><ul><li>9. Route is found </li></ul><ul><li>10. Repeat for quietest, fastest modes – each have different scores </li></ul><ul><li>11. Routes shown to user </li></ul>
  16. 16. Route feedback goes to OSM contacts
  17. 17. OpenStreetMap <ul><li>Lots of different renderings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We are using OpenCycleMap by Andy Allan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cloudmade serves ‘tiles’ which form a static background once a route has been planned – i.e. we just put this behind a line we have calculated </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Why don’t we use Google Maps? <ul><li>Google Maps very popular for websites </li></ul><ul><li>Google doesn’t provide data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only gives a cartographic rendering of a map </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A picture of a map is useless for routing! </li></ul><ul><li>We need both the cartography AND the underlying data </li></ul><ul><li>So Gmaps no good for offering custom routing </li></ul><ul><li>Also we wouldn’t be able to fix the data or add new data </li></ul>
  19. 19. OSM vs Google Maps <ul><li>Google often doesn’t have information needed by cyclists/walkers – park paths, cut-throughs, pubs! </li></ul><ul><ul><li> OSM Google maps </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. CycleStreets: history <ul><li>Cambridge-only cycle journey planner </li></ul><ul><li>Originally written for Cambridge Cycling Campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Launched June 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Google Map –based </li></ul><ul><ul><li>5,000 lines drawn over satellite imagery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google doesn’t give you data: just cartography </li></ul></ul><ul><li>47,000 journeys planned </li></ul><ul><li>15,000 photos added </li></ul>
  21. 21. CycleStreets: history <ul><li>Lots of requests for same thing in other places around the UK </li></ul><ul><li>Result is CycleStreets </li></ul><ul><li>We are using OpenStreetMap for our data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We don’t have money for an OS license </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Went to public beta in March 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>418,543 journeys planned as of today! </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion ramping up this year </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Key deficiencies being fixed </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. CycleStreets: legal structure <ul><li>Set up as UK Ltd company (July 2009) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Separate to Cambridge Cycling Campaign now </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No dividends (not-for-profit) </li></ul><ul><li>Social enterprise </li></ul><ul><li>Legal structure exists for legal reasons - not because anyone wants to make any money </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sorry investors / VCs! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Basically a hobby that has had to become a business </li></ul>
  23. 23. CycleStreets: funding <ul><li>Huge challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Income (so far £28.1k) from: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tiny seed funding (£5k, Scottish Government) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grants (£11.2k) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consultancy and API fees (£10k) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Donations (£1.9k) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Grants were key to getting going </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wouldn’t have happened as a For-profit </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Only just started paying ourselves </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Small amount, 5 months only so far </li></ul></ul>
  24. 25. CycleStreets: funding <ul><li>Want to have funding to create full-time posts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Work done in spare time, so improvements slower than we’d like: full-timers means rapid development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Routing work is very complex </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open-source has role to play but can’t rely totally </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Funding drive recently launched </li></ul><ul><ul><li>www.cyclestreets.net/funding/drive/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Goal: Raise 130k </li></ul><ul><ul><li>90k: 18 month, 2 fte developers (3 people) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>15k: Hosting costs, 3 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>25k: Promotion, misc costs </li></ul></ul>
  25. 26. CycleStreets: funding <ul><li>What work is needed? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve routing quality (encompass more of the geog. data) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implement turn delays (very rare in any routing engine) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Way-points (‘go via’) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instant response routing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop the mobile apps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overhaul user interface </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Roll out embedded sites everywhere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Photomap needs code/interface work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Live routing! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adaptive routing on-street </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wider coverage? </li></ul></ul>
  26. 27. Uniqueness <ul><li>CycleStreets is more than just a routing engine </li></ul><ul><li>Routing engines are two-a-penny </li></ul><ul><ul><li>+ OpenStreetMap engine market crowded </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Detailed knowledge of how cyclists behave </li></ul><ul><li>We provide a real interface </li></ul><ul><ul><li>User-friendly, ‘warm’ interface </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cycling community embeddedness </li></ul><ul><li>Whole ecosystem of products </li></ul><ul><li>Platform for building stuff around </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ideas of routing and cycle infrastructure problems </li></ul></ul>
  27. 28. Competing against the big players <ul><li>“ How can you compete with Google?” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://jessenoller.com/2010/10/14/how-can-you-compete-with-google/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some great observations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lesson for other startups? </li></ul>
  28. 29. ?
  29. 30. Competition <ul><li>Google? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>... Well not really, and there’s room for both anyway </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will never provide customised stuff to Local Authorities, cycling groups, etc. or market that </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Anyway, more exposure to cycle routing == GOOD thing = more people cycling) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>And ‘Ooh, hadn’t thought about cycling’, when planning car route </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>OpenStreetMap </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plenty of routing engines, but not marketing, promotion, involvement, interface approach </li></ul></ul><ul><li>UKGov </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hmm... </li></ul></ul>
  30. 31. UKGov
  31. 32. Transport Direct CJP www.transportdirect.info/Web2/JourneyPlanning/FindCycleInput.aspx £2.4 million (from tax) 72,344 journeys planned (31st October), running at 6,092 per month £33.17 per journey £1m – budget for 2011 32 areas (professionally surveyed) CycleStreets www.cyclestreets.net £28k 328,432 journeys planned (31st October), running at 27,353 per month 8p per journey £130k needed UK-wide (but depends on OSM completeness)
  32. 33. UKGov We think cycle journey planning is more effective when done by local people using Open Data So we are working to ensure that CycleStreets is the solution of choice
  33. 34. Effective delivery? <ul><li>FoI request by Cambridge resident Richard Taylor www.rtaylor.co.uk/2940, dated April 2010 before 2nd FoI request </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Government Wastes £2.4m Building Cycle Route Planner Instead of Linking to CycleStreets.net for Free” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Each cycle route planned ... cost the taxpayer about £57” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Usage of the [Transport Direct] planner remains very low” (Programme paper, 12/Feb/2010) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Register </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/04/12/cycle_route_planner/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Where end-users have already put in the ground work, central IT should make use of what has already been done, rather than try to reinvent the wheel.” </li></ul></ul>
  34. 35. DfT project <ul><li>Competition has definitely spurred us on! </li></ul><ul><li>Release of (expensively-collected) data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We are seeking funding from Cycling England / DfT to get this data into OpenStreetMap </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Local Authority strategy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Getting Local Authorities to use Open Data / citizen data a key challenge (‘untrusted’?) – but times are changing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>CycleStreets has innovation, living data from OSM, community involvement: </li></ul>
  35. 37. <ul><li>Big Society –compliant </li></ul><ul><li>We tick all the boxes: </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative : involves local people </li></ul><ul><li>Low cost : datasets have no license fee, agile delivery </li></ul><ul><li>Trusted : for the people, by the people </li></ul><ul><li>Open Data </li></ul><ul><li>Citizen involvement : combines skills and input of large numbers of people (collecting data) </li></ul><ul><li>Quality delivery : problems can be fixed easily </li></ul><ul><li>Transparency : more people oversee the data and spot problems or potential improvements </li></ul>http://www.green-alliance.org.uk Cabinet Office
  36. 38. Currently main feature on data.gov.uk!
  37. 39. Local Authorities <ul><li>www.cyclestreets.net/localauthorities </li></ul><ul><li>Mock-up site: http://cyclemap.placeford.org/ </li></ul>
  38. 40. Flexible platform <ul><li>A *lot* of work done to make ‘skinnable’ interfaces and re-use of components in other systems </li></ul><ul><li>Key defensive business strategy against ‘generic’ Google / DfT </li></ul>
  39. 41. Mass-market <ul><li>Local Authority strategy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One going live shortly </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Embedded versions in cycling sites </li></ul><ul><li>Use of API in external systems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Could AA / RAC journey planners add cycling? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wide use of mobile Apps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Approaching app developers for API usage </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Planners for multi-site businesses </li></ul><ul><li>Cycle there links (postcode in URL) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Listings sites, businesses, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Big events </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Leisure industry? </li></ul><ul><li>We’re not marketing experts though - and need help! </li></ul>
  40. 42. Retrospectively ... <ul><li>Approach the DfT formally, more quickly </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We think they probably agree with TD problems too! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Getting big funding applications in earlier </li></ul><ul><li>E-mails containing opportunities we’ve not followed up (lack of time sadly) </li></ul><ul><li>Getting more promotional work done earlier </li></ul><ul><li>So we need ... </li></ul>
  41. 44. What do we need? <ul><li>Funding (and a fundraiser!) </li></ul><ul><li>Coders </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile app coders (esp. Android!) </li></ul><ul><li>Promotional help </li></ul><ul><li>Designers </li></ul><ul><li>Routing feedback in areas of the UK you know is very useful to us </li></ul><ul><li>Spread the word </li></ul><ul><li>Link to us! Banners on promotion page: </li></ul>
  42. 46. <ul><li>Martin Lucas-Smith, www.CycleStreets.net </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: @cyclestreets [email_address] </li></ul>David Earl

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