Maps: not just for Summer

We are proud to present our new map for… Autumn! Now the nights are getting spookier and the leaves are turning brown, the Love Summer map was starting to look a little optimistic. The new map covers Halloween, Bonfire Night, half-term activities and bracing walks around the borough. Blow those cobwebs off and take a peek.

This is the culmination of just two weeks’ work from Liz Harrison’s GIS team of Sandrine Balley and Marta Villalobos, with front-end development help from Emma Lewis. And not forgetting Wing’s determination to seek user feedback from unsuspecting visitors to London Fields playground.

We’re continuing to refine the design and functionality of these maps and now have a template that we can increasingly turn to any use. Watch out for more Love maps soon.

Screenshot of Love Autumn map
Screenshot of Love Autumn map

Love Summer map now live!

Breaking News! Now live at https://map.hackney.gov.uk/summer-map

Explore summer in Hackney with our map of playgrounds, pools, picnic areas, drinking fountains, walking routes and mhttps://blogs.hackney.gov.uk/hackit/wp-admin/media-new.phpore.
Explore summer in Hackney with our map of playgrounds, pools, picnic areas, drinking fountains, walking routes and more.

We’ve just finished a four week side-gig to get the best out of the fantastic resource that is Map.Hackney. While it’s a valuable tool for urban planning, it also holds hidden gems such as locations of drinking fountains, wildflower meadows, paddling pools and quietways. Which we want to shout about.

With an assembled team of a mapping expert, user researcher, developer, designer and deliverer, we kicked off our sandals and took the idea to the people. Our first stop was London Fields, where we interrupted unsuspecting bystanders to ask what they like to do in summer in the city.

Out of this research came four personas that we hoped would resonate with people. The one who likes to hang out with friends in the park and play ping-pong (‘Chilling’); the one who wants to keep the kids occupied for an hour (‘Playing’); the one who wants headspace while meandering through the streets (‘Wandering’); and the one who wants to create their own summer (‘Everything’).

With a wireframe best described as no-fi, the team was able to spin out a prototype faster than ice melts in a mojito. More research yielded great feedback: are the blue lines rivers? [cycle paths]; is that a bus route? [Hackney boundary]; can you see cafes in parks [heck, yes!]. All this was iterated back into the prototype. If you click on the slides, you can try it out for yourself via the QR code.

We all learnt something on this project. For some, it was the first experience of Agile working; for others, GIS was a whole new world; still more were introduced to GitHub. But the learning curve never felt too steep.

We’ve still got some end-to-end testing and colour contrasts to work out but we’re ready for our Monday launch. Let the summer begin!