Cycling to a car-free Singapore

Cycling to a car-free Singapore

Organisation: The Straits Times - Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (Singapore)

Publication Date: 04/08/2017


Size of team/newsroom:large


Singapore’s government has recently set out it’s mission for a car-lite future so The Straits Times decided to send out 3 teams to test if cycling could be a real and possible option for commuters. The concept was to pick a route and, under the same circumstances, test how long it might take to cycle – benchmarked against times for taking a taxi and public transport during peak hour. Singapore is a tropical climate (= very sweaty) and the paths – although recently improved with new cycling paths and long park connector networks – meant that the real-life situation might be very different to what was being reported on ‘in theory’. Putting our money where our mouth is, our team set out one Friday morning to test conditions for cycling, which resulted in this interactive. There was also a print map and a highlights video to round up the overall cross-media package. An ‘amazing race’ style graphic with it’s main feature being a map tied to real timings and annotations along the way to explain what happened blow-by-blow. It even uses video footage at various points to visually show what was happening for the cyclist via a GoPro. GPS routes and timings were captured using Runkeeper.

What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?

Usually, we create graphics without having any first-hand experience - which is completely normal. This graphic presented us with an opportunity to go out and test it for ourselves - which we did. Although it's not exhaustive, it was a definitely a great experience to be able to produce a graphic based on data we had generated ourselves. The map itself is attached to real-time and is hand-coded. It is truly one of the most original maps we've created even though no-one would probably even realise. And at the end of the day, if it's easy enough to use that the difficulty in making it is hidden - then we've done something right.

Technologies used for this project:

Hand-coded with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and MapBox.
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