What is this site for?
The short answer – to help you work out where to live. The longer answer is that we built this site so that people in Britain can easily see areas that are less than a specified amount of time away from a place of work, study or other importance, by public transport. So if you’ve ever thought “I wish I could see a map of everywhere less than half an hour’s commute from this office”, this is your answer.
Do you have an ulterior motive for launching this site?
Yes. We’ve launched Mapumental Property as an advert for us, the people who made it – mySociety. We’re a social enterprise that can build cool and sophisticated web tools like this for clients in a range of sectors. We do high-usability software development, consultancy and more.
Is it just buses, or trains or what?
Mapumental Property covers all forms of public transport in Britain. So when the slider is set to 30 minutes, you’re seeing everywhere you could start where the quickest combination of train, tube, tram, bus, ferry, and a little walk will get you to your chosen destination in under 30 minutes.
Does this site contain driving times?
No – sorry. We don’t have access to motoring data.
Mapumental Property is not trying to compete with those big property sites – they’ve got lots of money, large teams and are dedicated to making a lot of money from millions of visitors. They also have loads of features we don’t have on our site.
We’ve built this site to solve a problem that these other big sites don’t – commuting. Nobody likes to commute a minute further than strictly necessary. But in a world of complex public transport networks, especially in our big cities, it’s often unclear where you might be able to live and still get to work in 30 minutes. Mapumental Property can help, and it works anywhere in Britain. It works in Aberdeen just as well as Shoreditch.
Where is the travel data from? How accurate is it?
We use a free, open data set called the National Public Transport Data Repository, from Traveline. You can read about that dataset here. We think it is pretty accurate, but it seems almost inevitable there will be problems in there somewhere, sorry. Legal Warning – If you buy a house without checking your commute on at least one other site, it ain’t our fault. It’s easy to double check any discoveries you make on this site.
What assumptions does it make?
The public transport journey times assume you can walk at c. 3mph as the crow flies. 10 minutes walking is allowed between stations and to/from your final destination. 30 minutes walking is allowed at the other end of the journey. One minute is allowed to change buses at the same stop, and five minutes for changing train, coach, underground and ferry at the same station.
As it uses timetabled journeys, it is possible that a given journey time might seem longer than you may think, but this is due to it taking timetables into account. For example, arriving 5 minutes walk from Woking station by 9am gives a leaving Guildford station time of 8:31 – this is because the only trains from Guildford to Woking around that time are the 8:31 (arriving 8:41) and the 8:46 (arriving 8:59); so to get to your destination by 9am, you would have to get the 8:31.
Does this site cover Northern Ireland?
No, we’re sorry but data on public transport journey times in Northern Ireland is not available as free, open data.
Where do you get your property data from?
Do you also make maps like this for printing?
Yes – we sell maps with pretty coloured contours, in our map shop.
Can you add feature X to Mapumental Property?
I’m afraid we’re out of budget to develop this site any further. But if you want a version with extra features for your own purposes, and you’re interested in being a client, please get in touch.
Who built Mapumental Property?
Duncan Parkes was the lead developer. Matthew Somerville did additional coding and the background maps, and Jedidiah Broadbent did the design. Kristina Glushkova worked on business development. The late Chris Lightfoot, and then Francis Irving, built earlier versions, and helped come up with the idea in the first place. Everyone doing this was part of mySociety’s team.
Stamen came up with the awesome idea of using a slider to control time, and built a Flash prototype for us a long time ago.