Here’s to a shorter commute

This project became Mapumental. Please visit that site for details of our travel-time maps services.
The work was funded and supported by the Department for Transport.

See also: the main travel-time maps report.


Our newly released travel time maps are currently shooting round the internet. It was great fun making them, and you might like to have a go too – there are plenty of public datasets you could overlay on the same base maps, using the same flash app (source code). There are a few notes about how we made them on the page itself, and the associated real time page. For a far more interesting view of the development process, read Tom Carden from Stamen’s account.

The most interesting blog post I’ve seen to come from this is Whitehall staff have no life by Simon Dickson, who was inspired by the maps to think about the destruction of social capital caused by commuting. “Whitehall staff on all but the highest salaries can’t expect to live anywhere near their work, and hence can’t expect to have any kind of a social (capital) life.”


  1. As Friedrich Hayek said, “If you put the word ‘social’ in front of any serious word, you reduce it almost to meaninglessness.”

    ‘Social capital’ is not a measurable concept. Even the Wikipedia entry admits that “It is entirely subjective.”

    So when I hear a Harvard professor claiming that “every ten minutes of commuting reduces all forms of social capital by 10%”, I’m inclined to think that the professor is talking complete nonsense.

  2. To quantify the subjective is Clintonian, “a fairy tale” but then myths of demons and dragons and sugar fairies are the bane of our existence.

    P.S. I use my website for marketing early paintings (mostly done while at the San Francisco Art Institute). They support my conceptual, environmental and educational endeavors which are aligned with my current interests.
    PPS. Will Vito Acconci attend the talk in NYC on Feb 8th?