I spent some time during the last weeks playing with the Open Data published by the City of Milan. I did not have a clear goal in mind, except for building some interesting visualization of the Public Transport coverage of the city grounds.
A quick exploration of the dataset seemed to be encouraging: while most of the data was relatively useless, some datasets were indeed promising and worth spending some time. While at the end of the week I was able to get the result I had in mind (the heatmap below), I was left with that lingering feeling of dissatisfaction that accompanies me when I see good initiatives that can be dramatically improved by changing a few specific features.
In Milan, like in many other cities, public transport tickets have a magnetic strip on the side that is used to check their validity by means of electronic readers.
Even now, some years after the introduction of the new tickets, a lot of people still insert their tickets in the readers in the wrong direction, and can’t pass the turnstiles until they get it right.