Winners of ‘App My State’ have an urban focus

Transportle: it's a long trip (purple line) from Preston to Ivanhoe station by public transport at 10.30 pm

The winners of the Victorian App My State competition announced last night by the Premier have a distinctly urban orientation. The objective of the competition is to inspire Victorians to create web and mobile applications for Victorians. Entrants compete for $100,000 in prizes.

First prize was won by Jason Smale for his iPhone app, Which Bin?, which helps people understand what items are able to be recycled. He says:

I’ve often seen my mother struggle to read which number is in the tiny recycling triangle on the bottom of yoghurt containers. After about 5 minutes she resorts to using a magnifying glass and finally the often undecipherable number defeats her.

The judging criteria are usefulness, design and development, innovation, useability and this delightful example of bureacratic cool, “The vibe” or overall appeal.

Second prize was awarded to Gavin Ballard for Transportle, which he says aims to help Victorians make informed decisions about the way they get from A to B.

Going far beyond a simple mashup of raw data and a Google map, Transportle takes the end points of a user’s trip and provides a variety of alternative routes using different transport modes – car, train, tram, bus, cycling, taxi and walking. It then compares these alternatives not just by time and distance, but also in terms of financial cost, carbon emissions and health benefits.

Transportle works from your PC browser so give it a try. As you can see from the picture, getting from Preston to Ivanhoe station by public transport (purple line) is a long trip at 10.30 pm compared to car (red line) or cycling (green line).

5 Comments on “Winners of ‘App My State’ have an urban focus”

  1. Michael says:

    I tried transportle, but located Northland shopping centre on the corner of Murray road and Chifley drive rather than over near Preston station. It figured out I could catch the reasonably direct bus 549 to Ivanhoe train station. What it doesn’t tell you is that 549 mostly runs only once every half hour and only once an hour at peak times in the evening before finishing at 7.00pm. And if you are lucky you get to ride the bus with white trash who spit out the windows and yell racial abuse at strangers. What a joke of a bus service – this is public transport as welfare service rather than a serious travel option. Rant over.

    • Alan Davies says:

      I hadn’t noticed that the map had come out as Preston rather than Northland as I’d intended. So I’ve just changed the text to Preston – thanks for the tip. The point that it’s a joke to try travelling cross-city by public transport at 10.30 pm (in fact as you point out, after 7pm) still holds.

      This web app put up by the PTUA shows that bus-rail connectivity on the 549 route is also less than impressive.

  2. Peter Parker says:

    Transportal could be a good idea, but even allowing it being in early test stage, is extremely rudimentary and certainly not reliable.

    Looking at public transport alone its journey planner is ineffective and fare calculations inaccurate. For driving toll roads are not included and taxis don’t include an allowance for ‘dead running’ if you’re going to an out of the way place. Cycling seems to assume a pedestrian route.

    It’s worth comparing the Preston – Ivanhoe trip between Transportle and the Metlink journey planner, as the results are very different.

    Given that the 903 SmartBus runs across Preston, Northland and Heidelberg a logical journey plan would include this (journey time around 40 min at 10:30pm). This is included in the latter, but the Transportle gives a Northland – Preston walking distance of 4 minutes!

    An international trip recommended cycling and then kayaking across the Pacific Ocean and desert – there was no flying option and was one supposed to carry a bicycle on a kayak (unless there’s a free bike share in Darwin)!

    • Alan Davies says:

      Ha! Reminds me of Google Maps. If you use the Get Directions function and put in from Melbourne to (say) Portland OR, it proposes you kayak from Darwin to Japan and then kayak again to Seattle. All this after driving through central Australia! It’s been like this for at least 12 months that I know of so Google must have decided to leave it.

      BTW love your excellent blog.

  3. […] interesting visual by Flink Labs that was prepared for the App My State competition that I covered here. It’s a bit rough in places (e.g. the”commute time” is how long it takes to travel to the […]

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