Check out Chromaroma – a just-launched, cool-looking, London-based, travel game created by Mudlark. Its creator Toby Barnes, in this Guardian article, describes it as “the world’s first 3D space Flash live data mashup thing.”
The game takes London travel and enables users to experience it in a wide variety of ways, ranging from ambient play to challenges and tasks. It aims to make regular commuting more entertaining by adding a social component, and an encouragement to slightly expand the journey in order to explore and discover.
Chromaroma is a game that shows you your movements and location as you swipe your Oyster Card in and out of the Tube. It connects communities of people who cross paths and routes on a regular basis, and encourages people to make new journeys and use public transport in a different way by exploring new areas and potentially using different modes of public transport.
Using public APIs, the game pulls data directly from players’ Oyster Cards and Bike Keys, so they don’t have to run mobile apps. It’s actually pretty remarkable that an organization like Transport for London (which runs the London Tube) is moving past their bureaucratic antiquity and embrace data sharing and experimentation. (How great would it be to see that sort of edge to systems here in the US!?)
The app has some beautiful map and data visualizations. And their visualization team’s recent blog post on how they’re developing and testing new displays is a fantastic example of design process transparency. And discussion on how to add more interactivity to the experience for future versions of the game. I think I need to take a long trip to London to try it out.