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Living Map - tools to help promote walking

On the 18 October 2013 Tim Fendley from the Living Map Company (tim@livingmap.com) gave an interesting presentation on public information provision and focused on the project ‘Legible London’. Tim highlighted that due to people getting lost or not being able to navigate round London was causing a loss in retail activity (particularly if a visitor only has three hours to go round Oxford Street and gets lost).

Living Map presentation

Tim said that there was a language for the tube (tube map) but there was no language for walking. For the development of a mapping system for pedestrians there was a need for the maps to clearly identify a couple of key landmarks. Since the implementation of the ‘Legible London’ scheme there are now 12,000 signs across London and these are used approximately 2 billion times per year. Tim said that the Economist magazine had reported at 12% increase in people walking in Central London (http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21582576-urban-pedestrians-buck-national-trend-footfalls) and that the on-street maps played a role in this.

There are three key pillars to the system:
1. Last mile is not looked after
2. Integration with the transport network
3. What the user has via other information (e.g. smartphone)


Tim highlighted other projects he was working on Living Soho (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/livingsoho/id507980233) ,which is an app for the iPhone and has bus information, live updates on the cycle hire scheme and tube times. Tim also mentioned work on mapping Heathrow (which is the 3rd largest shopping centre in Europe) http://maps.heathrow.com

Martin Low (Chairman of the UK Network Management Board) said that Westminster was trialling sensors in the road for parking availability. The Board agreed that information to help consumers get around would be an attractive feature for retailers and that business improvement districts would have an interest in new applications. Events were also important for good information and navigation e.g. for marathons so that spectators can get around.

Tim said that maps should be living and on mobile apps should change at different times of day.

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