Toronto Streets Elevation

Kevin Branigan

So what I've got here, is a rendering of the street graph in the Greater Toronto Area, with elevation mixed in. open street maps for the street graph and geobase for the elevation data. For each dataset, even with heavy compression, they are still a few hundred megabytes large - which very quickly topples all free generic tools right over. So everything is custom. Protocol Buffers are quite excellent actually. All of my development for this was done by hand, typed using my own bare lanky little fingers. The elevation is highly exaggerated so you can see it better.

Why did I build this? So I can do trip planning that takes elevation into account. Though, I'm still not sure what people would prefer given elevation data. Would you prefer a steady incline? How about a big hill all at once and then totally flat? How important is all this compared to travel distance? How do these metrics compare when walking or biking? Should downhill be considered a positive?

GTHA transit

Kevin Branigan

I've been working on parsing and cleaning up GTHA transit data. It's a bit nutty. There are so many agencies and they all do everything very differently. Which is something Metrolinx is trying to fix. In the process I've been able to upgrade all my personal data tools to accommodate the variations in their data. It's interesting how non specific the transit feed spec is and how everyone interprets and implements it in all of the ways possible. This is the realm where assuming anything results in segmentation faults.

One thing for example, is how they specify colours for routes. You can see here that Hamilton and Burlington specify colours but the rest I just overwrite and selected myself. The TTC gives colours but they are mega ugly so I just made it red. Another thing involves GO Transit. I have their data but they don't provide road driving shapes, just the sequence of stops. It makes it look really ugly so I have hidden them for now. I did some work with routing their buses along the roads but it's just not pretty enough yet.

Path Mapping

Kevin Branigan

So everyone knows the path map is a crap map. If you've ever judged them, you'll notice that the directions are the four letters of the word 'PATH' and colours are chosen instead of something clearer. The maps on the walls are placed such that if you're facing south then north is down on the map and no one understands. Mr. Andrew Guay and I decided we wanted to visit it all and map it as we went. It took us around 5 days of walking and mapping (28km of all sorts of stuff) but we got it done. My plan was to convert it to AutoCAD drawings, allowing others to improve upon it, but I'm also planning open street map. If you have any other ideas, send me an email. (my email should be pretty easy to figure out).

Here's a little taste for you (yeah that's a coffee stain, stupid wind messing up my starbucks):