Google Maps provides people with a satellite imagery of streets, real-time traffic conditions and route planning. Meanwhile, there is another type of map used that can be used for both directional and aesthetic purposes – the map illustrations that are creatively drawn by hand but 100% digital. The map offers more than geographical information; it provides a realistic feeling of a certain place.
There is no doubt as to the popularity of Google Maps when it comes to trip planning but a Vancouver-based company claims that it can do better. The app which is called Cow lines provides users with a route that includes all available transportation options. Google Maps asks people to choose the mode of transportation whether by foot, by car or public transport.
According to David Oliver, co-founder and CEO of Greenlines Technology, the Cowlines app can describe the best and easiest path towards a certain destination. There are more than 60 transportation providers in Metro Vancouver and if you combine them all in one app, people will have choices when they move around. People will be encouraged to leave their cars in their homes at least once a week to reduce pollution.
The Cowlines app provides people with the fastest, cheapest and best route to take including the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that the Cowlines-planned trip could emit compared to using your personal car. The idea here is to help people make better real-time decisions, financial decisions and greenhouse gas decisions when they are planning to travel. The app can be downloaded for free in Metro Vancouver starting April.
Since the app is free, revenue is generated by selling data to transit authorities. The app can track door-to-door movements of people – something that transit planners will love to get. Transit planners desperately need information on where people end up when they tap into a bus.
Every tool that assists navigation is important; however, the purpose of map illustrations is not solely about providing directions but to provide a creative and artistic tool that will capture an emotional response. The unique map illustration is a product of the artist’s creativity and skill in combining geography, architecture and information from a favorable vantage point.