october 2007 archives

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Bosatlas tops list of bestsellers

The new Bosatlas van Nederland is the most expensive (€ 99.95) book ever to top the Bestseller 60, the weekly list of best-selling books in the Netherlands. The very first copy was presented to the Dutch Prime Minister Balkenende just over a week ago on the 11th of October. Since the first edition of the Bosatlas van Nederland is almost sold out already, the second edition will be available from mid-November.

The first Bosatlas was published 130 years ago, but it is the first time the Bosatlas focuses on the Netherlands only. It could easily be regarded as a national atlas, although these are usually a public instead of a commercial undertaking. The atlas contains 19 chapters and covers a broad range of topics as diverse as bicycle theft, food banks, lighthouses, election results, cocaine addicts, mosques, police districts, and dune landforms. In the chapter on public health and health care you may come across familiar maps that were contributed by the makers of the National Atlas of Public Health.

The new Bosatlas has already sparked quite some controversy in the province of Noord-Brabant. During the festival season of Carnival, towns all over the country traditionally assume a jocular name. However, not all towns are included on the map of Carnival names that appears in the Bosatlas. The societies that organise the celebrations feel they have been wiped off the map. The editors hide themselves behind the practice of cartographic generalisation through which some objects are removed from the map to ensure overall legibility. As a compromise, the editors of the Bosatlas will create a new map of Carnival names that will include all Brabant towns. Appropriately, the new map will be published on the 11th of November.  permanent link for this entry

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Predicting delays based on historical traffic information

After an earlier press release in July the Dutch Tourist Club ANWB has launched its new online route planner with a travel time predictor. The new feature takes into account the usual traffic jams on the busiest motorways in the Netherlands. Furthermore, the route planner gives you information on current traffic jams, road works, and speed cameras along your journey.

Users not only provide address details of the origin and destination, but also select a particular date and time to depart or arrive. The route planner then not only gives a map and travel directions, but also provides travel times without traffic jams and an estimation of the extra travel time to be expected based on historical traffic information. A similar feature was introduced on Google Maps in August.

  permanent link for this entry

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Public transport: an alternative?

As of today, Google Maps not only provides travel directions by car, but also suggests to take public transit in certain areas in the US. Users can easily compare the duration and costs of the journey by car and by public transport since the application formerly known as Google Transit has now become part of Google Maps.

This news coincides with the statement of TomTom that its current focus is on motorists and traffic services, not on some sort of multi-modal route planner on satnav devices as suggested by the Netherlands Railways (NS) on Monday. The Dutch independent website 9292OV that has provided the Dutch audience with itineraries using public transport for quite some years already introduced travel directions for cars earlier this year so people can now make a fair comparison between the car and public transport to reach any destination in the Netherlands.  permanent link for this entry