Tuesday, April 15, 2008

city route finding sites

in the last 7 months I've had the opportunity (nay, reader, necessity) to use route planning systems in 3 big cities: London, Paris and Madrid.
Google maps- forget it:)

in London, Transport for London run a pretty good site that covers all modes of transport including cycling (with fairly useful advice on routes for that most difficult mode)

weirdly, though, if i ask how to get from (say) King's Cross (St Pancras Innterational) to Heathrow Aiport, it offers tube+Heathrow express, when in fact the Picadilly line (if you limit it to tube only) involves no changes and is actually the same journey time and 26 pounds less return:)

So in paris, I recommend the Via Michelin site
which is excellent, and includes cycling as an option (as above) with accurate info.
only downside was airport advice which was a bit odd (in terms of RER to gare du nord being fine but thence, connection advice was a little lumpy:)

Finally, Madrid has a very good web site for visitors using public transport (which is possibly even better than Paris!) - see
but again the advice on getting to the airport from (say) Leganes (where I am on sabbatical at UC3M/IMDEA Networks). They said take the metro the whole way as it is only 2 euro (awesome) and 1.30mins, but the train from Leganes to Atocha, then train to Nuevos Minesterios, then metro line 8 is in the working day, way faster - it could just be they compute some average (out of working day, train waiting time could make it same journey!)....I will test this later in the week!

Anyhow, traveling across all 3 cities is really quite amazing (actually, was in Tokyo and Kyoto last summer and I should do a comparison with them, as they were cool too, although cycling in tokyo might be mad, it looked fine in Kyoto).

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misery me, there is a floccipaucinihilipilification (*) of chronsynclastic infundibuli in these parts and I must therefore refer you to frank zappa instead, and go home