[Talk-GB] Volo TV in FGW trains with OpenStreetMap data

Tim Francois sk1ppy14 at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Sep 12 09:23:39 BST 2010


I remember reading an email on this list about the Volo:TV service on First
Great Western high speed trains using OpenStreetMaps as their base layer for
a moving map display. Well, yesterday I had the chance to actually use one
of these trains, and luckily managed to get a seat with one of these TVs.

Contrary to reports at [1] and [2], the moving map display is not free to
use (or: is no longer free to use) - the Volo:TV service costs £1.50 per
hour or £3.50 for an unlimited day's use. However, there is a "Try Me"
option which gives you full access to the service for 5 minutes.

Using the Try Me service, I selected the "Moving Map" and the display
changed to that as shown in [2], with the huge Zoom and Back buttons. Just
below the Speed/Altitude bar, another bar is initially visible which says:

"Map data copyright 2009 CloudMade. CCBYSA 2009 OpenStreetMap.org

After a few seconds, this message fades away. The actual map render looks
very clean, obviously with railway lines prominently displayed. It does seem
like GPS device is used to update the display (a big blue dot shows your
current position) as the dot fails to move when in tunnels. The position
refresh rate is about 5 seconds.

There are two zoom positions. The default is akin to zoom level 9 on
www.openstreetmap.org. The second is akin to zoom level 12. All-in-all, it
looks quite good.

My two main gripes:
1) The Zoom and Back buttons are far to big for the screen, and cover up a
large portion of the map.
2) There is not enough zoom control - I'd like to be able to zoom in
further, and have more control over the steps.

...but those are probably best relayed to those at Volo.

Anyone else used the service? (If on the off chance that Volo are reading
this list, I was on the 2130 train from Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads,
in coach B). I didn't see anyone watch any paid content (I had a view of
approximately 12 seats with screens, one of which froze (mine!) and one of
which was blank). The service also stopped as we left Bath Spa, which would
have been most annoying if I'd actually paid as I would have expected the
service to continue until the terminus at Bristol. But, although the Try Me
option is only for 5 minutes, this resets after every stop (obviously, as
new passengers wouldn't be able to try the service if someone before them
already has) - so if you have a stop every 5 minutes, they you're sorted!!

Anyway, this isn't really much of an OSM type email - just thought some
might be interested!


[1] http://opengeodata.org/openstreetmap-data-is-on-your-train
[2] http://www.flickr.com/photos/claypole/4541755224/
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