Tous Azimuts

From a student in the Intro GIS course.

One example of GIS which I use quite often is a program called “Tous Azimuts”How to Get There. This program can be found at the Societe de transport de Montreal, STCUM. What this program does is it tells people how to get from one specific location in Montreal to another using the Montreal public transit system.

When you first start the program, a map of Montreal is displayed with all of the districts names on it. The instructions of “Tous Azimuts” are very easy. At the top of the screen you have three options: Click Origin, Click Destination and Click to Zoom in. You simply use those options to tell “Tous Azimuts” where you are coming from and then where you would like to be; you would start by using the “Click to Zoom in” option, as you want to be very specific about your origin and destination. Once you do this, a Calculate button will appear next to the other options.

This next section of the program is to me, the most amazing part. When you click on the Calculate button, it will take you to a new screen with a list of about five or six other options. “Tous Azimuts” now knows, because you selected the different areas in Montreal on the map, where you would like to go and from where you are coming. You are then asked which day you are taking this trip; this is important as public transit schedules are obviously different on the weekends. Your arrival time or departure time is also needed, although you have the choice to select which one you want; I personally always use arrival time, because it makes sure you will be at your destination when you want. Finally, you can choose to minimize walking distance and decide whether or not you wish to use the metro or the train to get to your destination.

Once all the options are chosen, you will click on another Calculate button at the bottom of the page. This then takes you to the results page. Three of the best routes will be displayed. The time you will get to your destination will be given as well as when you should leave your house; it even tells you how long the walk is in meters to the nearest bus or metro stop. The bus number as well as the bus/metro direction will also be given as well as the street corner or metro stop that you should get off at. And if after looking through the results you are unhappy about a route or bus time, you can always modify the options on the previous page or view the bus times yourself.

What this program really does is use information that has been inserted into the map of Montreal to help someone get from Point A to Point B using the Montreal public transit system. I highly recommend using “Tous Azimuts” to anyone that is new to the city that wants to explore Montreal without getting lost; I have lived in Montreal my whole life and I definitely still use it.

[STCUM is very concerned about climate change and has created a separate portal to welcome attendees to the UNFCCC meeting, to help visitors get around using public transit. It is also running events at the meeting on sustainable transport.]

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