TransportBuzz maps out UK commuters' foul-mouthed rants

The new site maps tweets -- many of them rather angry -- about transport in the UK and lets you search for places and subjects.

Nick Hide Managing copy editor
Nick manages CNET's advice copy desk from Springfield, Virginia. He's worked at CNET since 2005.
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A brilliant new website lets you see what people are tweeting about in some of the country's transport black spots. TransportBuzz maps tweets -- uncensored, I should warn you -- about transport problems and lets you search for places and subjects.

You can see individual tweets over the last week, many of which eloquently express the frustration inherent in travelling around our crowded little country. Another view shows tag clouds of grouped tweets, showing what words many people are tweeting in the same place over a longer period.

If you don't want to be spotted tweeting about how abysmal your fellow commuters are, don't make your tweets public, or turn off the location sharing option in settings.

It's designed for transport planners and other professionals in the industry to get a mix of anecdotes and incident data for specific places. For the rest of us, it's a gold mine of schadenfreude and witticisms.

"One user we spoke to wanted to know more the real experiences that people have on motorways," the team behind the site write. "Using TransportBuzz, we zoomed the map out the national coverage, then entered 'M1' into the text filter box. Immediately, a chain of individual tweets highlighted the M1 motorway.

"Mousing over these tweets gave insight into people's experience of this road. One road user tweeted 'How can there possibly be traffic at 5.30am on the M1?' just south of Nottingham. We explored other major roads using the same approach, contrasting experiences."

That showed a trend of people tweeting 'stuck' and 'traffic' near Milton Keynes, indicating the city of roundabouts may not perhaps be the paradise for cars that was envisaged when it was planned out.

TransportBuzz's default setting is a zoomed-in of central parts of London, Glasgow, Dublin and Sheffield -- refresh to see a different city. Sign up to the website and you can zoom out to see the whole of the UK. A paid option, intended for government agencies, rail companies and the like, removes a hit limit, while an API makes the raw feeds available too.

Other Web services that do fun things with Twitter and maps include TrendsMap, which shows what people in various cities are tweeting about -- congratulations fellow Londoners for getting #london trending, very clever -- and the One Million Tweet Map, which shows where the last million tweets originated in real time. This map shows which mobile devices were used -- zoomed out, it's like a view of the world at night, with tweets instead of street lights.

Do you tweet about your transport woes? What other cool mapping sites have you seen that use Twitter? While away a sleepy Friday afternoon down in the comments, or on our unmapped Facebook page.