Tag Archives: travel information

BBC to revamp travel news site with added mapping

The BBC is launching a new-look version of its travel news site later this year, with the sneak preview now online.

On the BBC’s website, it says the new site will improve presentation and introduce maps for the first time. Data-handling processes will be better so it will take less time for site visitors to get information.

The new site will have a wider page layout and larger text, as well as improved navigation and interactive mapping, which can be minimised if you prefer to see traffic incidents as just a text list. There will be clearer time-stamping of incidents and still images will be frequently updated from traffic jam cams showing conditions on motorways and trunk roads. The local weather forecast from the BBC Weather Centre will also be available on the site for the following six hours.

For fans of the old site – the BBC insists that travel and traffic information will still be updated round the clock, and the map can be minimised, which will put the functionality of the site back to the way it used to be.

The door-to-door journey planner remains a feature, but has been made more prominent, and in the final version of the site, it will be possible to see a country-wide overview of motorways or major roads from every page.

Searchable Twitter makes it more robust for news

Thanks to Cybersoc for drawing attention to Tweet Scan, a site that allows you to keyword search public Twitter messages – another useful addition which makes it even less arbitrary and more newsworthy.

Twitter’s credo as a mainstream news device has been growing over the last few months. In September it launched a tracking service that allowed users to follow phrases on mobiles and through IM and it was used to good effect to follow real time reports of last year’s fires in East London and the Californian bush.

Robin makes the point that it’s a great resource for journalists looking for firsthand accounts from people close to events. To that I’d add it’s ability to mix professional and non-pro accounts around a topic. It’s short nature also lends particularly well to reporting traffic problems and other necessary travel information.

How I really want to see it used though is by a UK news publisher, be it national, regional or local, on a breaking news story. Be bold, I say.

Get an RSS feed from a Twitter search term embedded into a blog or on the news pages updating the user with alerts from the public and other news sources about breaking news events.