This Handy London Underground Map Shows Trains Moving in Real Time

Matthew Somerville
Matthew Somerville

Londoners' commutes just got a whole lot better thanks to a real-time train map for the Tube created by Birmingham programmer Matthew Somerville.

This amazing resource depicts trains as yellow Pac-Man-like circles moving along the lines of the London Underground so you can get a precise look at when the next train is coming. Each dot has a directional arrow, and clicking one of the dots will bring up more information: most importantly, the destination and number of minutes until the train gets to the next station. The data is taken directly from Transport for London.

You can choose from three views: Geographic, which shows a map of the city, Schematic, which is strictly a map for the Tube, and Skyfall, which simplifies everything down to red lines and dots with descriptive text. Somerville created one for the London bus system, too.

This is the latest in a series of problem-solving tools for city living that Somerville has made. His past work includes a split ticket finder, which helps riders across the UK determine if they can game the complicated and somewhat nonsensical National Rail system and save money by splitting a train trip across multiple tickets rather than buying one. There are also maps to help Brits locate their nearest mailbox or ATM. And then there's what is arguably his most important project of all: a database of searchable Doctor Who scripts compiled using the show's subtitles. Each episode also has a word cloud that measures the top words uttered in the series (unsurprisingly, doctor comes up a lot).

22 Whimsical Clear Phone Cases That Let You Show Off Your Favorite Art

Society6
Society6

It seems like Society6 is constantly coming up with more and more products that you can get emblazoned with your favorite artists' work. From notebooks to shower curtains, we're getting to a point where an entire apartment can be covered in artful sloths. And so can your phone.

The art print site's clear iPhone cases are transparent and incorporate the look of the phone underneath into the design. Often, the patterns look like stickers, but with the advantage of never peeling. The protective cases come in two versions: slim (a frosted plastic case) or tough (a two-piece, impact resistant case) and are available for $36 for iPhone 6 and later.

We collected all our favorite designs to give you a quick look at what's available.

1. WITCHCRAFT

2. BANANA!!

3. MY SLEEPY PET

4. FRIDA KAHLO

5. PUG YOGA

6. UNICORN LAND

7. NATURE WALKS

8. SNEAKY CAT

9. CACTUS OUTFIT

10. FLY ME TO THE MOON

11. GOLDEN CELESTIAL BUGS

12. HAMMERHEADS

13. I SHOW YOU THE STARS

14. FOR THE TREES

15. SKELETON

16. GREEN AND BLACK GARDEN WITH RED FLOWERS

17. CAT'S EYES

18. BABY AXOLOTL

19. SOLAR SYSTEM

20. BEAR GARDEN

21. TRICKSTERS

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A version of this story first ran in 2017. It has been updated to reflect current availabilty.

Boston-Area Students Convince their City to Install 3D Crosswalks

iStock.com/olaser
iStock.com/olaser

Motorists driving through Medford, Massachusetts may notice something unusual on the street outside Brooks Elementary School. On April 22, the city installed a new pedestrian crosswalk painted to look like 3D objects raised from the ground. The new crossing path aims to make the intersection safer, and it's one of several set to debut around Medford, Curbed reports.

By painting additional, shaded shapes around the traditional white strips of a crosswalk, the city was able to create an optical illusion for drivers. From far away, the flat shapes look like blocks in the middle of the street. The effect is meant to make drivers slow down before they reach the crossing, and to make them more alert to pedestrians in the area.

Two students—a fourth- and a fifth-grader—worked with their teacher and the Brooks Center for Citizenship and Social Responsibility to convince the city to add the safety feature. The 3D walkway, designed by Boston artist Nate Swain, will be painted outside three other elementary schools in the city.

Medford is the first city in the Boston area to experiment with 3D crosswalks, but the illusion has been used for years in other parts of the world. In 2016, Shakuntala Pandya and her daughter Saumya Pandya Thakkar designed their own version of the blocks for a highway in Ahmedabad, India, and in Chicago, the crosswalks have been around for nearly a decade.

[h/t Curbed]

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