Not so long ago, I was designing visualisations for a different type of underlying graph structure, but one that had some similar elements in terms of “close” edges that could be drawn together, a desire to minimise edge crossings, and the like. I spent quite a while studying Beck’s famous London Underground map and its modern derivatives, and then experimenting with some of the same ideas mentioned in the article here. I too found that rendering clean, practical diagrams to show messy, real-world underlying data can be surprisingly difficult! I have a lot of respect for the Transit App team if they’ve successfully implemented algorithms that can produce output as beautiful as those examples in their general case.
So I doubt it would use very much on your device, especially if you only want to try it out once in your area to see how it works.
I doubt their business goals involve a desktop version
A couple years back I attempted to automate our production planning. The effort failed alas (complexity and feature creep killed it) but I did make nice visualizations along the way.
Fortunately, we found a different plan of attack: one
which allowed the integer-linear-programming solver to
explore the problem space more efficiently and find
optimal solutions faster. What previously took an hour,
now took 0.2 seconds.
Later we started using a model using variables like
Another thing to note is that New York-Washington is all connected. But some of the connections have only a single (commuter rail) line. So mathematically speaking, Washington and New York are actually independent. The MILP solver sometimes seemed to have trouble finding those independent components, so it helped providing them as separate models.
Can your process be applied as a plugin/core function of cad programs for designing buildings/other systems...
Such that I can relatively roughly draft a layout of a floor-plan, and then have your ideas "think" out a layer for piping, electrical, lighting etc...
the idea would be to avoid physical interferences, and then take your logic to say "oh this is a floor plan and the lighting layer-elements should be within the boundary of the walls, and I am to lay them out on an NxN grid, so ill propse this layout and the designer can just adjust as needed - but I am aware of the walls so I know I can only place this many WRT the layout" and "ah, this is a wall, and a ceiling, my electrical conduit must run up/in the wall and along the ceiling, and no conduit can intersect - but I need a junction box every N feet/[condition] and my radius for each turn must be within [spec]"
Basically ML/AI assisted CAD... I think you should explore that - electrical/plumbing conduit designs effectively adhere/require your design logic....
Just a thought.
Basically define an elements requirements;
Range = X
Schedule = Y
Frequency = Z
FuelReq = AA
Then you do something like a fixture:
Power = X
T24 = Y
Then you setup a standard and a repo for people to post objects to a lib and let them select those things and just plop them on a drawing and the reqs will get calculated.
Although, I was not able to know how they calculated the cost per year for any of their examples... where does that data come from???
But I can't help wondering how often these kind of complicated transit junctions actually occur in practice? There aren't really that many complicated metro systems in the world (to my continuing disappointment), and even they often still have fairly simple junctions.
Maybe it would be cheaper and more effective to just hire a graphic designer to hardcode solutions to the worst examples?
That’s a pragmatic solution if you’re only designing static graphics, say to print on a leaflet. If you need something more dynamic, with various elements being selectively hidden as they show in the animation just before the article’s conclusion, then beyond a certain point there are too many combinations to prepare them all manually with a sensible amount of effort.
Plus, there are actually a lot of systems.
Lists 160 systems. And that's only metro systems. You have to add light metro, light rail, commuter rail. And then you still only have rail. Start thinking about adding buses, and it is impossible to create all these maps by hand, at the various zoom levels.
Buses do usually run linear services, but they're often sufficiently dense that metro style maps are difficult to read (they're often best represented as simplified roadmaps with each road labelled with route numbers).
Also, you don't need to get everything perfect everywhere right away to start acquiring users. It can be a continuing improvement process.
So "good enough" may not actually be to get people to try something new.
Unless you can selectively hide/show bus routes, I guess. Which is something that this app allows you to do.
Explained in 3b and 3c on http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Legal_FAQ
4.6 Access to Derivative Databases. If You Publicly Use a Derivative
Database or a Produced Work from a Derivative Database, You must also
offer to recipients of the Derivative Database or Produced Work a copy
in a machine readable form of:
a. The entire Derivative Database; or
b. A file containing all of the alterations made to the Database or
the method of making the alterations to the Database (such as an
algorithm), including any additional Contents, that make up all the
differences between the Database and the Derivative Database.
The Derivative Database (under a.) or alteration file (under b.) must be
available at no more than a reasonable production cost for physical
distributions and free of charge if distributed over the internet.
We would like to develop something similar, but a non map overlay version, using our transit data at Rome2rio. Basically code to auto generate something like this for all of our 4,000 transport operators: http://content.tfl.gov.uk/standard-tube-map.pdf
We've been talking about it for a while but don't have the constraint layout expertise to do it internally.
Anyone interested in working for us to tackle this problem?
If there's no trip found within a reasonable distance, then we generate errors and the data integrators will have to take a look.
We've fixed a couple of issues in OSM already, usually it was different rail stretches (ways) not being connected.
Why doesn’t the integer linear ordering put the orange line completely inside the loop?
That would remove 3 crossing sections, and look better.
As a human you can look at the solution and decide it's not so pretty, but the question is how to model this as a general set of penalties. These also have to be linear - and if you have too many complex constraints, the solver may not finish in time.
Basically you have to make sure that the overlap is larger than the number of iterations of the data, so it's a bit messy. In the meantime, our little sparse image library turned out to be pretty effective.
Some things that are iffy or missing from a functional perspective:
• Any indication that the red and blue line stations are connected by tunnels at Lake/Washington and Jackson.
• For that matter, the fact that the Jackson blue line station exists in the first place - it's obscured by the B in the street label for Jackson Boulevard. Same goes for the LaSalle blue line and State red line stations, and the Washington blue line station is also iffy. That's over 1/4 of the stations in the map's area hidden under
• Which stations have elevators? Most of the ones downtown don't.
• Which directions are the trains traveling in? With the exception of the green line, all of the elevated trains go only one way around the loop.
• Color matters, especially on a system where all the trains are identified by color. Why did they use a dark mauve to indicate the pink line? In the real system it's indicated by a bright bubblegum pink. They've created a big opportunity for confusion with the purple line.
• A human touch might be able to make some better arrangement choices. The CTA map crosses the blue line over the green and pink lines a little outside of the loop, at the point where it diverges from the other two. That's a much better choice than trying to do it right in the middle of the already jumbled mess that is the confluence of all of the trains in Chicago's transit system (save one small spur line out in the suburbs) along a three block section of Lake street.
• Clearly indicating that the purple line operates differently from the others is also useful, and might save someone who's unfamiliar with the system from a lot of time spent waiting on the wrong side of the station while watching a bunch of brown lines pass by.
I'll grant the loop section of the L system may well be the most fiddly, nit-picky light rail mapping problem in the world, and the datasets they were working with might not have given all the detail they needed. (On the other hand, that thing with hiding stations under street names feels pretty egregious to me.) I guess what I'm really going for here is, when it comes to drawing maps, I still think involving a human hand in the process can make an enormous difference in the quality of the final product.
It would be great if the system could take other data inputs (from trusted sources) to say that point X on open map has [service]
And illustrate it - [escalator, elevator, tunnel, handicap, food, coffee, restroom] etc... and make it so that it would accept updates from users....
ie users travel along a line, and they report what services/things/shops/what-not are available... in the same logic that WAZE uses user input for traffic incidents - but this for infra/social-stuff
Still, I prefer using code blocks to do bulleted lists on HN. Not sure why. Maybe its that thing I just confessed to having for laborious hand editing.
Probably does mean I'm being a jerk to mobile users, though. Eh, I can go change it.