About Mapumental

Who built this, and how does it work?

What Mapumental is

Mapumental shows public transport travel times, from or to a chosen postcode, on a timebanded map. These can be embedded in websites, apps or online tools, or used for internal research purposes.

Currently, the site covers just Great Britain. We’re certainly interested in extending it to other countries, though. Get in touch.

How Mapumental works

Mapumental combines Ordnance Survey postcode data with public transport timetables, and displays the results using Leaflet on OpenStreetMap.

The timetable dataset is compiled with information from many sources, including local public transport information from each of the Traveline regions (known as the Traveline National Data Set, or TNDS), coach services from the national coach services database (NCSD) and rail information from the Rail Delivery Group.

The transport timetables used in Mapumental are updated on a regular basis. Currently the timetables in use are from January 2018.

Mapumental journey times assume you can walk at approximately three miles per hour as the crow flies. It allows for ten minutes’ walking between stations and to/from your final destination. 30 minutes’ walking is allowed at the other end of the journey. It assumes that one minute is enough time for changing buses at the same stop, and that five minutes is enough time for changing train, coach, underground and ferry at the same station.

As Mapumental uses timetabled journeys, it is possible that a given journey time might seem longer than you may think, but this is due to it taking timetables into account.

Mapumental does not have driving or cycling times (yet! Please contact us if you’d like to commission us to add them).

If you are interested in the technicalities behind Mapumental, you should read these blog posts:

How you can use Mapumental

Mapumental has many uses. How about... househunting? Try Mapumental Property to find a new home based on how long it would take you to commute to work. Or see how Mapumental helped Dolphin Living, a charity whose mission is to find affordable housing for Greater London’s workforce.

Mapumental is ideal for organisations with a public service remit. It’s been used by the Welsh Government to understand how accessible their schools are for families who don’t own a car. They used our existing dataset of public transport, but the Fire Protection Association provided their own data — fire engine response times — to show how quickly a blaze at any given postcode could be attended.

If you’ve thought of another scenario involving maps and time, the chances are that Mapumental is right for it: let us know your ideas.

Who we are

Mapumental is a project from the social enterprise mySociety.

mySociety builds simple but effective online tools that empower people in the civic and democratic parts of their lives. You may know us best for our sites such as FixMyStreet, WhatDoTheyKnow and TheyWorkForYou — if you would like to know more, see the mySociety website.

Mapumental’s initial development was funded by Channel 4 and Screen West Midlands. All revenues from Mapumental go to support our charitable projects in the UK and beyond.