The latest idea from mySociety – a service that combines commute times, property prices and the beauty of an area in order to show you where you might want to live – looks very neat.
It is also, once again, a good example of how letting people get at data results in all sorts of unexpected conclusions.
The idea of using maps to show commute times isn’t new. Adding in property prices may seem obvious. But would a group of civil servants plotting an official transport information service have really thought up the idea of adding in beauty too? Perhaps they would, but most likely they wouldn’t have (look how focused on doing just the one job TransportDirect is), and for sure – the more people who can play with the wider set of data, the more likely you are to get that extra flash of inspiration thrown in.