Sep 25, 2013
Imagine you are in downtown Portland, you have a meeting in 45 minutes, and you are hungry. You have a bike, but where could you get food and still make it to your meeting on time?  What if you walked? Or took transit? 
WithinReach is an Android-phone App designed to answer these types of questions. It was created by six PSU students for the Computer Science Capstone program.
The app provides the user with a map of locations reachable by foot, bike or transit from their current location, within a time period that the user can specify. Users can also search for nearby locations of interest via integration with Google places, and set a specific date/time/location for future planning.
The Capstone project was proposed by OTREC researchers Kristin Tufte, Jon Makler, and Morgan Harvey, who specified the functionality they wanted the program to have but left it up to students whether to develop it for a web-based platform or as a smartphone app.
When group members Kyle Greene, Alex Flyte, Clinton Olson, Haneen Abu-Khater, Hanrong Zhao, and Vi Nguyen heard about the transportation-focused project, they jumped at the chance to work on it, excited about the prospect of developing an application that would be useful in a real world environment. 
 
“...
Read more
Aug 12, 2011

Designing efficient transit systems is only one piece of the puzzle. Getting people to use them is another.

In his bestselling “Transit Maps of the World” and followup work “Paris Metro Style: In Map and Station Design,” Mark Ovenden detailed the beauty of maps people use to navigate transit systems and of the stations themselves.

“When you walk into the Paris Metro system, with its art nouveau stations, it does affect you, whether you notice it or not,” Ovenden said. “It feels nice to be in. It encourages people to use the train.”

Ovenden will offer his take on transportation systems as the keynote speaker at the Oregon Transportation Summit, Friday, Sept. 9 at Portland State University.

Ovenden vaulted to fame with “Transit Maps of the World” after a career in radio and television. But he always had an interest in collecting maps and riding transit systems. “On a school trip to Paris at 9 or 10, I just wanted to ride the Metro all day,” he said. “The teacher said, ‘no, come with us to the Eiffel Tower, you idiot.’”

Even out of context, the maps Ovenden compiled serve as an art work. But much of their beauty lies in their function: getting people around smoothly. Some of the best maps, such as...

Read more