Europe

London Underground working in real time

The London Underground is an essential means of transport to move comfortably around the British capital. If you are a bit clueless, you should not worry, at your fingertips you have an interactive map that allows users to know where the trains are in real time. We tell you how it works and offer you other information of interest.

However, before talking about this map, it should be said that behind this project is Matthew Somerville. This is a graphic designer who has done a similar job with London’s public bus system in the past.

How the interactive map works

The London Underground Map uses the official Transport for London API (body responsible for the city transport system). In this way, it obtains the information corresponding to the arrival times of the trains at the stations.

Later, it processes that information with the estimated locations and the interface shows and moves the points that represent the trains on the map. For the latter, it uses Leaflet, which is the name given to the JavaScrip library for interactive maps.

How is the interactive map of the London Underground?

The interactive map is packed with details regarding London’s rail infrastructure. In it, the routes of the 11 metro lines of the city are drawn in a simple way. The convoys are also shown, turned into a kind of Pac-Man.

The map also includes estimated transit and arrival times at each of the 270 stations on the London Underground network.

How to use the interactive map

Once we know how it is, it is time to know how it is used. It is very simple. You just have to click on one of the yellow dots that represent the trains -the one that interests us- in order to know where it is going and how long it will take to reach the next station.

Once the pertinent query has been made, one can entertain oneself by observing the hottest points on the map, that is, those that are full of trains at the same time. Or you can search for the areas corresponding to the farthest stations where the frequency is lower.

Tips for using the London Underground

We have already seen that the interactive map is very useful, but in addition to knowing everything about it, it is convenient to know how to use the London Underground. As well, you can use cards such as the Oyster Card or Travel Card. Both suppose a reduction in price if they are to be used more than once, as well as in time.

But which is better of the two? The truth is both cover the same means of public transport in the capital of England (subway, buses…). But with the Oyster Card it is also possible to get to and from Gatwick Airport by train.

Instead, If you are only going to take the metro for one trip, you can get a single ticket at any station ticket office or vending machine where one is located. You can pay in cash or by credit card.

Other interactive maps in the world

In addition to London in many other cities you can also quickly see the status of public transport through an interactive map. This is possible thanks to the TRAVIC (Transit Visualization Client) system. And although many countries are still missing, the result is impressive to say the least.

We abandoned land transport, because There are web pages, such as Flight Radar, that allow you to know the position of the planes in real time. For its part, Positrén focuses on the Spanish railway network, while Marine Traffic is based on the same GPS system as the previous two to offer information on ships.

And there are also interactive maps to discover where we can find icebergs or where lightning is recorded (Real Time Lightning). There are also some to know what orbits around the Earth (Stuff in Space) or to compare how many trees have been planted and lost in a specific period of time (Global Forest Watch).

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