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Business: Taxi Service
do the knowledge online   (+19, -1)  [vote for, against]
mainly for black cab drivers but interesting for the rest of us.

all of our black cab drivers need to learn and pass a test called “the knowledge” before being issued with their licence.

doing the knowledge can take between 2 and 4 years and involves their driving around the streets of London on a motorbike with the giveaway clipboard with maps in front of them. they acquire a knowledge of at least 25,000 streets and have in their heads, at the end of this training, a familiarity with the best routes to get from a. to b. and details of such things as which way various one-way streets are pointed.

their knowledge will include the locations of hospitals, hotels, theatres, public buildings, railway stations, parks, places of historic interest, restaurants etc.

I have no idea how many hours of buzzing backwards and forwards around London this all takes nor how many gallons of fuel for their bikes nor how this in any way adds to the capital’s congestion or indeed, how many accidents are caused by or to these gallant men and women.

in this modern world, where there are cctv cameras on every street corner (I believe London has more of these surveillance type cameras than anywhere else in the world but I may be wrong) and every built-up part of the globe covered by such things as google earth, I would have imagined that black cab drivers learning the knowledge could do 99% of their course, in the comfort of their own home from their own pc’s.

someone produce it and make it a game!
-- po, May 14 2006

Doing "The Knowledge" changes the shape of your brain
[hippo, May 16 2006]

Traffic Agents traffic_20agents
The "Traffic Agents" software platform could be used for this [hippo, May 16 2006]

//interesting for the rest of us//

Aw. Bless.

Just kidding; it is a good idea. Although I am reluctant, I'm REALLY always nice. [+] ;)
-- bookends, May 14 2006

I like bookends... they are useful for all sorts of things.
-- po, May 14 2006

Grand Theft Auto: The Driver of London Towne.
-- methinksnot, May 14 2006

I want ninjas and pirates in this game - o.k. croissants too...
-- po, May 14 2006

Do caucasian cab drivers have to pass the same test?
-- Texticle, May 14 2006

There aren't many reliable taxi services in the Caucasus because they do not have to pass a stringent test. Lazy commies.
-- methinksnot, May 14 2006

Ok, seriously, are the cabs black?
Can a white guy be a black cab driver if he passes a rhythm test?
Is a convoy of black cabs called a plague?

Blimey, I'm so confused.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, May 15 2006

Yes, the cabs are black, in the same way that New York Taxis are yellow.

I once played a game called "The Getaway" which attempted to digitise the streets of London and had you the player, zooming about in Saabs, Rovers and the like. It almost worked too. Half the time you could almost think that you sort of knew where you were.

If someone went to all the effort of digitising London, and building a model of the streets - one-ways and all - I would rush out and buy it, I might do a bit of sightseeng one day, or explore an area I'd not been to the next, on another day, I'd figure out how to get off the A3 (Eastbound) and make it to Streatham without getting all snarled up in Hammersmith. In all a fine and extremely handy idea.
-- zen_tom, May 15 2006

Suggestion: "Black Cab" Makes the distinction, whereas "black cab" has a stereotypical connotation; not that revised spelling would help some of us, but I did face an internal reality check as I read the original Idea. Personally, knowledge of the community is possibly the most valuable information one can possess. Pity the unemcompassed fool.
-- reensure, May 15 2006

Who you calling unemcompassed? I ain't getting on no plane!
-- zen_tom, May 15 2006

Zentom, here, have some milk.
-- egbert, May 15 2006

That would be a lot of fun and learning at the same time. It made me think about a text only game which would be for the entire world and much easier to make with route finding programs.
-- zeno, May 15 2006

+ Off topic, How do you Londoners manage living in a museum of sorts? I was looking at London on Google Earth the other day & wondered if everyone has the subconsious feeling of "don't touch that, It's very valuable" for at least 1 building on every block, it seemed.
-- Zimmy, May 16 2006

There are lots of old, historic buildings in London - typically when a developer wants to redevlop them they knock down the whole thing except for the facade and then build a new building behind the old facade. Or they just (c.f. Kensington Town Hall) knock the whole thing down in the middle of the night and claim they didn't know it was a protected building. There are also lots of buildings no one cares much about.
-- hippo, May 16 2006

[Zimmy], everything that's there today was pretty much built to last (all the other stuff fell down long ago) and will be likely to remain for years to come. Remember it's all pretty much been;
1) nearly blown up by Fawkses
2) all full of plague
3) set on fire
4) flooded
5) all full of cholera
6) set on fire
7) blown-up and set on fire by the Germans
8) all full of riots
9) blown up by the Irish
10) blown up by other riff-raff
11) 'redeveloped'
So, people aren't too worried about touching things.
-- zen_tom, May 16 2006

oh well put, zen.
-- po, May 16 2006

HAHA. You said it.
-- reensure, May 17 2006

At least the bulk of your architecture wasn't built during the outright blight of the industrial revolution. Detroit is so bleh.
-- RayfordSteele, May 18 2006

actually I'd give a fortune to find a database of when and how various buildings were built (particularly more local ones).
-- po, May 18 2006

Curious Rayford - almost all of Glasgow's architecture was built at the throbbing peak of the Victorian industrial revolution and that has resulted in some truly stunning buildings. Perhaps Detroit's architects were too utilitarian?
-- calum, May 18 2006

Be kinda nice to get all those cabs, Honda 90's and mopeds off the streets too.

I'm kinda surprised (AFAIK) someone hasn't done a virtual Monopoly where you drive between your Hotels and houses virtually Perhaps you could use that for this? - Hang on don't the French own our Electricity and Water supplies now?
-- Dub, May 20 2006

It wasn't the architects, it was the upkeep and the onslaught of factory blight.
-- RayfordSteele, May 20 2006

random, halfbakery