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Friday Fun: Mapnificent!

Mapnificent shows you areas you can reach with public transport or by bike from any point in your city at any given time. Photo via Mapnificent.net.

Want to know how far you can travel using public transit under 15 minutes?  There’s a map for that!

Stefan Wehrmeyer, a Berlin-based software architect developed a tool that uses public transit data to help users decide on where to live, work or meet up. “Mapnificent shows you areas you can reach with public transport from any point in your city in a given time,” explains Wehrmeyer. The area you can reach in a given time expands when you select biking options in the map’s settings. Using data from the GTFS Data Exchange, and overlaying the extracted information on a Google map, Wehrmeyer visualizes the reach of public transport in your city.

Inspired by Mapumental, which is currently in a private beta-testing phase, Mapnificent becomes especially useful for decision-making purposes, rather than trip planning. “Let’s say you found a job in San Francisco and you want to move there,” Wehrmeyer exclaims. “Where can you live so that you need less than 30 minutes to go to your work place? Mapnificent is able to answer that question.”

As for accuracy, Wehrmeyer says that majority of trips (about 53 percent) have an error less than or equal to five minutes and 96 percent have an error of less than or equal to 20 minutes. “I traced the outliers to stop only reachable by very infrequent buses with headways of around an hour,” explains Wehrmeyer. “This gave me some confidence about the relative accuracy of Berlin, but at the moment I can’t do the same analysis for all the other cities I added to Mapnificent.”

Currently Mapnificent is available in public beta and can be used for many major cities in the United States, including Washington D.C., New York and Chicago. Though still in its beginning stages, the Mapnificent tool is even available for several cities worldwide.

Contact Stefan Wehrmeyer for feedback.

Follow Mapnificent on twitter.

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