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admin 27.01.2014

NEW YORK -- HopStop, a pioneer in offering transit directions in major cities, disappeared in October -- not because it failed, but because Apple bought it and shut it down after putting its engineers to work building Apple's own transit-navigation service.
Such transit services offer you navigation routes via train and bus, usually based on published transit schedules. Here's a look at how Apple Maps, Google Maps and a few smaller rivals stack up in this respect. Apple Maps can direct you to that closer entrance -- and to a specific subway exit with directions that reflect the wording you'd see on signs within the station. You get better directions as a result -- unless you're looking at a sprawling subway station that serves multiple routes. That feature went live on Apple Maps in September, narrowing a major feature gap with Google Maps.
Rival mapping services typically use a station's centre point to offer walking directions to and from the station. Apple might direct you to an exit on a different platform, potentially leading you on a maze-like journey through tunnels and up or down stairs. Google Maps now covers public transit in hundreds of cities on every continent except Antarctica.
While Apple Maps requires an iPhone, iPad or Mac, Google Maps has an Android app and works on other devices through a Web browser. And while Google Maps recently updated its Android app to offer directions without an Internet connection, that's limited to driving directions. But it supplements that with crowdsourcing, a fancy term for free labour from people around the world.


New York's transit agency, for instance, provides warnings about such changes, but the timetables aren't automatically updated.
Citymapper now covers 29 cities worldwide and is available on Apple and Android mobile devices. At Canterbury Cathedral, while visiting for the Progic 2015 conference at the University of Kent. At my room in the Tabard Inn in Washington, DC, waiting to be interviewed for a new Nova program on Einstein and relativity.
Penn State, just before giving public lecture in Series, 2015 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science.
17th UK and European Meeting on the Foundations of Physics at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
Workshop on Cosmology and Time, Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos, Penn State University. I spent the month of March, 2011, at the Rockefeller Bellagio Center on Lake Como in Italy. Although Apple's transit service doesn't cover as many cities as HopStop and Google Maps, it has its strengths, including improvements in getting you to and from subway stations. It also covers Berlin, London, Mexico City, Sydney and Toronto, plus more than 300 cities in China. Given that stations can stretch for blocks, this approach can mean more walking if there's a closer entrance just around the corner. Volunteers improve coverage by adding information on bus routes and schedules from smaller transit agencies that don't provide mapping data.


As a result, Google and Apple will sometimes direct you to a subway that skips a particular stop, while warning you that you can't get on there. The best part: It tells you what part of the train to get on so that you're closer to your destination when you get off. But Transit does offer real-time schedules, along with information on nearby bike- and car-sharing services. During a visit to give a talk to the Committee on the History and Philosophy of Science, University of Colorado, Boulder. Shortly before giving a public lecture on Einstein's discovery of general relativity at the Midwest Relativity Meeting. Eve and I spent a few days there ahead of the Center's Quadrennial Fellows' Conference at the University of Mugla in the Southwest of Turkey. Moovit has teams to manually adjust the timetable data so that the route offered reflects what's actually running. Photographer: John Everett of CIERA, Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics.
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