How to (Quickly) Make a Bus Map

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Published by the Urban Launchpad in January 2013

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How to (Quickly) Make a Bus Map

  1. 1. How to (Quickly) Make a Bus Map
  2. 2. Best possible outcome $5K Assuming you can borrow phones and computers 2 weeksFrom data collection to first print / prototype
  3. 3. Through our Kickstarter, we’ve heard that there are othercities around the world that are interested in a public bus mapfor their (often rapidly growing) city.While there is no secret recipe, we hope this short slide showcan give you a window into what it might take. Step 1 Recruit your flock Step 2 Build on the shoulders of giants Step 3 Determine the appropriate info-product(s) Step 4 Select the appropriate data collection tools Step 5 Collect and make sense of data Step 6 Design, publish, iterate (if necessary) Mail us
  4. 4. 1 Recruit Your FlockData collection is not easy – especially on moving buses. Our top qualities for a goodflock is one that 1) share your values, 2) rides the vehicle that you are looking to map, The First Bus Map of Dhaka3) can mobilize quickly, and 4) gives brutally honest feedback. Jackets help too.
  5. 5. 2 Build on the shoulders of giantsWhile it’s likely that there is little up-to-date information on what you are mapping,it’s important to do a thorough job of looking for what has been done before andcontacting those who have done it. It may turn out that those are the people whocan help sustain your project in the future.
  6. 6. ২৭   3 Determine the Appropriate Info-Product(s)In Dhaka, a physical bus sign may be the best way to reach bus riders. In Nairobi,SMS. Your final info-products should guide your data collection process and not theother way around.
  7. 7. 4 Select the Appropriate Data Collection ToolsWhile sometimes the best tools will be pen and paper, mobile devices likesmartphones and tablets make data collection easier to monitor and manage espwhen you have a large flock. They also can be programmed to simultaneouslycollect data that is automatically sensored and human sensored like crowding.
  8. 8. 5 Collect and make sense of dataDepending on the complexity of the bus network and the enthusiasm and size ofyour flock, collecting the appropriate data could be completed in 1-2 weeks. That’show long it took us to collect data on 70+ bus routes in Dhaka with a dedicated flockof 6-8.What was just as hard was to organize these routes so that they could be presentedin a clear way to riders. For us, that meant analyzing and reanalyzing the map,creating new route labels and clustering buses based on their routes and not on theircolor.
  9. 9. 6 Design, Publish and Iterate
  10. 10. Mail Us. urbanlaunchpad@gmail.comWe’d love to help where we can if it’s looking over your data from afar or visiting where you are(subject to our schedules). Our only requirement is that all the data you collect and the toolsyou create are made available in the public domain for anyone, in any city to use.

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