Apps for traffic information can be useful, but not all the way

8. okt 2011 I know it sounds a bit paradoxical. Usually I call to recognize randomness as a condition of life. But when it comes to traffic and road out in the public domain, I freak info. The more data available, the better, it's just like that. And when it comes to public transport ... How long time before the next train, do I sprint, wander, or do I have just the time to slip into at the bookstore. Is the train I'm in late, okay then, but do I have time to knit another row, or to think a new thought.

I do not ask for the train (necessarily) on time, but on reliable intelligence so I can dispose of my available time. It may seem like a small thing, but that’s how details work of daily life.


DSB S-train app

When the app works (and when DSBs server is live) the app gives me the basic information on train departures at the nearest station, the very same information that is displayed on the station screens: When is the next train. I really would have liked selecting the station myself, since it is not always the nearest station which I'm heading for, but that feature may come with the next version.
The output are grouped by directions shown in DSBs internal terminology: the north and south. And since it is the same direction across the network, I will at Peter Bangsvej see trains to the south, towards Vanløse, although the train is heading northwest. And the trains are running north towards Valby, although it actually is to the south. What else to say than: The internal references should be removed, passengers are not running after the compass anyway. This may be due to my phone or the connection, but the the app is the culprit.
Worse is that you really cannot trust the app. Sometimes it displays a wrong station, other times the content is not updated. It can show 2 minutes for a train that is running. I need a ‘Refresh’ button. A time since last download of data could also help.
To conclude, I have a useful, but also unstable and unfinished app, which therefore appear unfinished and sloppy. And yet I end up using the app pretty often ... while I'm crossing my fingers that the time is right this time.

Information in the public space

DSB S-tog app offers some of the info I need ... That's the apps can do. They are very useful to get information when you are not close to where the information can be found. It also raises the question about how close to the source "close" is and how you expect to find information in the public space.
The station for example: Where the station or platform is in sight, mayber within 100 m, where the station is connected with a center or a traffic center ... in such places I would expect to see signs with departures times at access to the station. There is no reason to climb onto the platform if there is plenty of time to the train and I could have used the time for anything else. Of course I could have used the S-top app, but it just feels awkward to be located right next to the spot and then feel obliged to consult with an app to get information about that spot. An app should generally be an expansion of available options, not a replacement. Otherwise it may well be too poor.

Example: Valby station, view at the entrance from Skolegade

I would love to find the station as the picture below. But the picture below is fake. There are no information boards on the train to be seen from outside the station. When is my train? I must be inside the platform to get that information. That is the normal picture: stations and platforms are not designed for you to see departure times before than you are almost at the train.

Don’t buy a train ticket with this app

25. JUL 2011 // reklame /offentligt rum /apps /dsb
Unfinished, ill-considered apps or apps that serve the market better than the use off it. If Apple has a sometimes paranoid restrictive approach to the formalities regarding an app you want to get into the App Store, they may have a comparable little interest in that the app works well. Fortunately, one could say, that should be […]
Jyllingevej is no station

Jyllingevej is no station

1. DEC 2009 // offentligt rum /dsb
Oh yeah, noo, it’s a road, right ... Jyllinge[road] ? Well, but everybody familiar with the S-trains in Copenhagen, especially between Ballerup and Vanløse, knows that Jyllingevej is the last station before Vanløse. And now it is no station.
Well then, Jyllingevej is the last station (if I may insist) before Vanløse, and thus […]
Vesterport st

Vesterport st

27. MAR 2010 // reklame /offentligt rum /dsb
Claim the real mayonnaise. Use Tungsram lightbulbs. Political incorrect ads are being revealed at Vesterport st.
Vesterport st (copenhagen - and I know it may not be a station, see “Jyllingevej is no station”) is being cleaned up. And these old ads are reveiled.


»Do You by any chance remember: In which font did you scream?«
3D enlightening Copenhagen

3D enlightening Copenhagen

20. JAN 2011 // berlin
After visiting Buchstabenmuseum in the fall 2010, I started to register this applied typography in big scale in Copenhagen. Big letters, neon, and stuff.
As far as I remembered, this was different from how it was back in Copenhagen. Consequently I started to look around here, and of course there were many more than I expected. […]
iSticks and iSkins

iSticks and iSkins

13. DEC 2010 // ipad /mobilt web /offentligt rum
The danish boulevard newspaper, Ekstra Bladet, has decided to campaign for the freedom of speech – seen as the freedom of nudity. The danish MEP, Morten Messerschmidt is supporting by taking the discussion into the European Parliament.
Big Letters Light

Big Letters Light

Buchstabenmuseum Berlin. Why are these letters so attractive? I don't get an answer at Buchstabenmuseum, but I most certainly get a wish to look after all these servants of the announcements, sofisticated as well as monumental.
Bridges and letters in Amsterdam

Bridges and letters in Amsterdam

Round the city of Amsterdam, crossing the grachten - many of the bridges have their names displayed with ‘De Amsterdamse Brugletters’.

Michael Vesterskov Band at Christianshavns Beboerhus

13. NOV 2009 // musik /offentligt rum
The concert was as a birthday present to Michael Vesterskov from the band who played at the theatre piece Det Blå Hotel [The Blue Hotel]. And gifts are, just like services, not something you pay back. You hand them along.
So Michael gave us the music, as the host offers gifts for the guest. Thank you.
Today I’ll trademark a burp

Today I’ll trademark a burp

16. NOV 2009 // offentligt rum
I don't think that it’ll cause any problem. I mean: Who really wants a burp . Compared to Deutsche Telekom’s attempt to trademark the color magenta ? No, I don't think so. It’ll pass nice and easy.
So what's the purpose, what is my intention, with the burp. But first of all I’ll show magnanimity. That’ll shine on the ethical […]

What if we take the money out of the equation

20. NOV 2009 // offentligt rum
I went to see Michael Moore's film Capitalism. I did not expect me to laugh all the way through, but neither did I expect it that depressing.
Even though Mr Moore manipulates and search down the beings that fits his message exactly, they do exists the people who are chushes through the greed of the financial market. And it […]

Warning: this is a rotary candle holder

7. DEC 2009 // offentligt rum
Unpack, assemble and light. It’s so simple that I think I might have been able to it without the instruction. If it hadn't been for all the warnings.
Every second package in the presents game was from the Tiger shop. Things! It’s funny, and cheap. But most of it, I’m afraid, I would never have bought to myself. On the other […]