Train travel information the traditional way
If you wanted to plan a train journey or enquire about fares, timings and alternative routes you would most likely visit the National Rail Enquiries (NRE) website, phone the call centre or use one of the apps to find the rail journey information you were looking for.
The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) that runs NRE had a slight dilemma. They needed a way to show passengers alternative routes to their destinations by ticket type.
Yes, they could have simply listed out the routes in a snazzy interface, but this was an opportunity for NRE to introduce more visualisation into NRE’s web presence.
The challenge for NRE was to come up with a way to develop a responsive digital map that could quickly draw geographically represented routes.
Train travel information the visual way
The answer lay in Basemap’s GIS technology along with a corporate BING licence, which would allow the journeys to follow the geographical route and be visual enough not to get lost on the BING map.
Most journey planning websites that draw rail routes, do so by representing these routes with straight lines from their origin station to the destination. One major advantage of our technology however, is that we can draw the rail routes accurately. We do this by processing the rail data through our algorithms, which produce impressive looking lines that are then drawn on the map. In order to integrate our technology with NRE a number of services had to fit together. The Integrated Public Transport Information System journey data, provided by THALES and Silverail had to be queried and matched to the routing engine developed by us and then drawn on the map using the BING Software Development Kit. Internet users are demanding, so all this had to be processed in under 3 seconds and displayed on the user’s browser.
Visualise for yourself!
Why not take a look at the map in action or watch the video.
ATOC and Basemap working together
The Association of Train Operating Companies has consulted with Basemap on many studies and ways to improve Britain’s rail network and especially Journey Planning. They are very happy with this mapping engine that we’ve developed for NRE and there are plans afoot to roll out more mapping within the site and other channels.
If you would like to transform your spatial data into something that your clients can visualise and is easy for them to use, please contact Richard Steele on 01483 688 470 or send a message via the contact form.