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

Craig Loftus craigloftus+osm at googlemail.com
Sun Sep 12 13:52:02 BST 2010

> Contrary to reports at [1] and [2], the moving map display is not free to use (or: is no longer free to use)

I think this must be the latter, as I'm sure I used it for free and
not as part of a trial.

I had similar gripes to your own, with a few more: my biggest gripe
was at how useless it was compared with how useful it could be. With a
little investment from FGW to get the stations along the route mapped
fully in OSM and a few tweaks to the renderer they could point to
things like the nearest bus station, taxi rank, parking etc for each
station. Instead what you get is an airline style moving dot on a map.

Its seems to me that rather than it being a key feature of the
platform it got onto the spec. as a "what else can we do" or "wouldn't
it be neat"... so I wouldn't expect to see it improve.

For comparison, I understand that stations along the Esk Valley Line
(closer to a twig than a branch line) are developing station based
local info/walking maps partly based on OSM. Not quite as high-profile
but a more interesting use IMO.


On 12 September 2010 09:23, Tim Francois <sk1ppy14 at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
> List,
> 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
> contributors"
> 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!
> Tim
> [1] http://opengeodata.org/openstreetmap-data-is-on-your-train
> [2] http://www.flickr.com/photos/claypole/4541755224/
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