June 24, 2009

A fantastic slippy app

Mapumental http://mapumental.channel4.com
Private Beta

This is just one cool web mapping application. I think the possibilities for this down the road are endless.

This application, built by mySociety brings together OpenStreetMap data together with public transportation travel times, house prices and a value of how scenic the location is to your liking. All together in a great mashup of open source data, paid data and socially derived data.

I didn't play with the "Scenicness" factor too much - I was more than thrilled to be playing with the Traveline and Land Registry property sale information.

The 'slippy map', as our UK friends like to often refer the slider-friendly map, is fantastic. Instead of tons of panning and zooming and selecting we often see in GIS web applications, there is a series of sliders that instantly show you the effects of your parameter changes.

Marks for:

- Big plus for their help page - great example of some of the things that should be mentioned on the site: data delivery, concurrency and who to see for access.

- Ease of use - can't get any easier than three slider bars and a few pan / zoom controls. Love it.

- Ov
erall site design - again, with the rest of the site - it is a simple nice design that just works. Doesn't over crowd you with 100 different options or buttons. It does it's thing and does it well.

- Speed - fantastic, the transport time meshed with housing prices barely takes a second to very quickly slide in and out based on your parameters. They've done a brilliant job here.

- Also with speed - the online map tips that pop up as you pan and zoom around the map are great. Instant access to the calculated transport ti
me and the median housing prices, for anywhere.

- The future - I'm excited to see the type of other applications this could lead to. Think temporal GIS with other spatial datasets coming together into a simple to use application... I can't wait.

Marks against:

- As much as I love Open Street Maps data, concept, etc. - I just can't get over the fonts they use on their mapping data. Don't like them at all.

Not a fault on the Mapumental site at all - they are just using the OSM data direct. But I have to find something wrong with the application... right?!?

Overall Grade: A+

You can also watch a good demo of the site here:


  1. I guess I am going to have to trust you on this one. I get a nifty little note that tells me I will not be able to see this fantastic piece of work until it goes public at some unknown future date.

    From what I can see, this is an incredibly well planned and interactive site. Now I do note that I am implying a bit from the other apps available from the same group. But the combination of services provided by existing apps and this in progress one almost make me want to live in London.

    I highly applaud the use of openstreetmap data. Even more so, I appreciate the investment inherent in purchasing housing cost data. But ultimately I am thrilled to see this group come up with a clever and intuitive process of gathering public opinion data and incorporating it into this presentation.

    On the back end, a great deal of work has obviously been done to tie these pieces together along with a refreshingly light or even humorous tone of presentation.

    I am sure that those who plan to visit, move to or move within London will be cheering in the streets (or at least at the street view) when this is released. Public servive folks in the US should take a hard look at the activities of this group as it is a model of public interactivity that I highly recommend.

    Now where did I put my cheese again?


  2. Dont know where to post these. But check these out.
    bothh created by the Center for Urban Research at CUNY

  3. CommunityGIS - if you can get on the private beta - I would definitely try. The pictures don't do any justice to the speed they pull off this web app - it's fantastic.

  4. Anon - thanks - they are on the list for review.