Since its foundation in 1861, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) provides its citizens with a fast, reliable and affordable transportation service. The current website, that went online in 1997, has become obsolete, no longer meets the needs of users and is not adapted to modern technologies.
The STM entrusted the making of its new website to the TP1 agency, a company specializing in website development that are rich in dynamic features to modern taste. The Mapgears‘ team members have been called in not only to add their skills in the webmapping world, but also for their expertise in producing rich and advanced web applications.
The new site had to meet the needs of users, be compatible with all modern browsers in addition to mobile devices and present the information in real time through interactive tools. The current site is being visited by an average of 18 million users per year, with the trend being more and more visits from mobile devices at any momment and anywhere. A very special attention had to be brought to them.
The map - the heart of the new site
The design of the new site began with a simple question: what should the home page look like? The magority of people who were asked the question drew a map. It has become the heart of the new site. From the routing tool to those responsible for displaying subway schedules, buses, taxis and train, the information is also present in the map.
The bottom layer of the map was produced by Mapgears combining OpenStreetMap open data with webmapping open source softwares, such as MapServer, MapCache and ScribeUI, projects in which Mapgears‘ team members are actively involved in their development and evolution. In the end, the map has been customized to follow the new theme of the STM, which gives it a modern and unique look.
The mobile devices adapation
The homepage being poorly efficient and loaded with too much content for on mobile devices, a second version was developed to better support them. It contains lightweight pages optimized for mobile devices following a responsive design. Mapgears‘ team was responsible for the design integration as well as the production of the map using OpenLayers.