Open planning maps are all the rage these days. London's transport authorities have developed a nifty tool which you can use to work out how well connected any point in the city is to any other city. In Bangalore, the government is crowd-sourcing ideas to redevelop their neighbourhoods.
So it's probably time we introduced you to the Greater Manchester Open Data Infrastructure Map. Which does things like this.
All the cycling routes in central Manchester.
It brings together vast reams of data on infrastructure, social facilities and land-use restrictions, so that developers can check out both the costs and the benefits of building in any particular location.
But it’s also open to any passing internet user. And so, if it takes your fancy, you can see where all the schools are:
You can see what Manchester’s electricity network looks like:
You can see the coverage of the Metrolink tram network...
...and how it links up with heavy rail services:
Perhaps the coolest things we've found you can do with it – for, y'know, a certain value of cool – is to combine this info with the boundaries of the green belt.
That helps you spot areas of the conurbation that could really do with better transport links.
Just a few suggestions the transport authorities might want to consider.
The map was built by Salford City Council, at the request of various local business groups (the Greater Manchester LEP, advisory group New Economy), and with the help of the Cabinet Office.
If you're the sort of person who likes playing with planning maps – and given that you're here, we're assuming that you are – there's plenty of other fun stuff you can do with this one. Check it out here.
All images: screen shots of the Greater Manchester Open Data Infrastructure Map.