The spider maps section of the TfL Data Bucket saw an update on 13th November. I was hoping that this would solve the mismatch with the website but it has not. The following uses the Excel file that I have placed at
The Data Bucket lists 1163 spider maps. Of these, 708 have a creation date of November 13th and 455 show May 28th.
The website references 545 different spider maps (after deduping). All of these appear in the Data Bucket with the creation date of November 13th,
Thus the Data Bucket contains 618 files not visible on the website, consisting of the 455 with the earlier creation date plus 163 with the later creation date.
Past experience suggests that there should be very roughly 1000 live spider maps. It is therefore no surprise to find two different files in the Data Bucket for some locations, sometimes (but not always) with the same creation date.
It should be noted that there are files with both creation dates that are missing from the website, e g barking-longbridge-road-a4-300917.pdf with the earlier date and southgate-a4.pdf with the later one.
The different form of the urls is to be noted. The Data Bucket urls are of the form
while the website equivalent is
So it would seem that the Data Bucket is listing files from somewhere other than the live location. That would explain inconsistencies but not the denuded state of the website.
Slightly off the point but the total lack of naming discipline for the maps stands out. Sometimes the date is included (not always in the same format). Sometimes “a4” is included. Sometimes an extra “and” appears, the use of hyphens is inconsistent and parts of the name may or may not be abbreviated.
There is an argument for including a date in order to distinguish different editions but the other differences don’t look like good practice.
All this means that third parties linking to a particular map may find their link ceases to work. It should not be assumed that everybody uses the same approach to get at open data!
More trivially (while i am at it), the website shows a Brentford map under Brent and two Bromley (by-Bow) maps in Bromley borough. Thankfully they are also shown under Hounslow and Tower Hamlets. I also note that WPR apparently play at Lotus Road…