Sunday 3 July 2011

Public Transport GeoInformation Workshop, Paris

After a lovely sunny few days at IGN, Paris I am now back in London thinking about what will come next for PTI and cartography in the future... I'm looking forward to meeting up with some of the new contacts I've made so here's a little overview of what went on and what's planned next...

The Use and User Issues Commission concentrated this year on Public Transport GeoInformation and as I have been involved in PT mapping my whole career I found it a very informative workshop and gladly welcomed it. Access to mapping for the public has never been higher, and I expect that PT maps are a very large share of the market and yet we have no groups in the UK, or abroad that I'm aware of, that specialise in bringing the commissioners, creators and users of these maps together to collaborate and push the field forward.
Now, after this inaugural workshop I believe we have a better understanding of the wider issues, not just within our own sectors, like academia or commercial, but we can also see how we can use each others strengths to make PT mapping better for the user.
Many thanks to the organisers, BCS Council and Commission Vice President David Forrest, Chair - Corne van Elzakker and IGN/Cogit's Dr Catherine Domingues, as well as the event sponsors Steer Davies Gleave and COGIT.

It was a great success and well received by everyone I spoke to. Delegates arrived from as far away as Brazil, and the European attendance was high, ranging from Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, The Netherlands, UK and France to name a few.

As well as several presentation sessions and demo's over the two days delegates also carried out a user test to more or less success! We were instructed to visit several locations by PT and asked to record the planning and user decisions along the way, to facilitate a discussion on Paris signage and wayfinding facilities. Alex Pucher of University of Vienna is to collate the info and we hope that from the findings we can, as a group, identify some of the main issues in this area for users.
I look forward to seeing and assisting with the next steps in this process and I encourage anyone else with an interest in this area to help us gather this information so we can all learn from it and move the industry forward positively. Please check out the Commission's website where you will be able to see the outcomes of our work and contact us to find out more or participate.

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