The Guardian has been playing with data that TomTom navigation software collects on congestion, the traffic index. The article has a range of graphs for cities worldwide, showing how city traffic is reduced due to various measures trying to stem the pandemic.

At the bottom of the article is a small search box where you can get the graphs for cities not mentioned in the article.
TomTom’s index contains it seems quite a few Dutch cities, perhaps because it’s a Dutch company. So I went ahead and grabbed a few screenshots for Dutch cities, amongst which my hometown.

TomTom sells services on the data they collect, so there doesn’t seem to be anything available to download for yourself. They do have a similar search tool on their site which gives slightly different perspectives on the data they have. Below for Amersfoort the traffic density for the past week. It basically shows us what we feel outside: every day is like Sunday traffic.

Ik heb er geen enkel begrip voor dat ik 45 Euro per jaar aan een commercieel bedrijf moet betalen om aangifte te kunnen doen bij de Belastingdienst voor de Vennootschapsbelasting. Dat bedrag is om me te kunnen ‘identificeren’ met e-herkenning (eh3 in mijn geval) en vergt dat ik mijn gegevens verstrek aan dat bedrijf (kopie ID etc.). Terwijl ik a) al een Digid heb waarvoor mijn identiteit is vastgesteld, en b) de Belastingdienst uit eigen gegevens en uit het Handelsregister exact weet voor welke organisaties en bedrijven ik tekenbevoegd ben. Waarom ik dan niet met Digid kan inloggen om aangifte te doen voor bijvoorbeeld mijn B.V.’s is me een volslagen raadsel. De route via ‘de markt’ is een toegevoegde kwetsbaarheid, waarlangs mijn persoonsgegevens ongetwijfeld een keer op straat komen te liggen.

Favorited Peter Rukavina - making community on PEI by The Belong Podcast • A podcast on Anchor (Anchor)
Peter Rukavina shares his life experiences about belonging to a community and navigating his way through challenging times.

My friend Peter has a conversation with Cynthia King, about life and death on PEI, landing in and joining a community, belonging and actively creating community. Taking in podcasts is not my thing, but I very much enjoyed listening to this one.

This morning Y and I were reading a book together, which had a drawing of a medieval castle on one of the pages. “I would like to have a castle too!“, she said. I decided to unearth the old Playmobil guard/prison tower (It had a sign saying Schuldturm) I have from when I was in primary school, 40 years ago.


I put it together, and my hands remembered the configuration I mostly used (the balcony originally should be on the bell tower but as a kid I thought that was an odd place to have a balcony). I went through the Playmobil figures to find the guards, and also added a queen. Y took to it immediately, and then of course dressed as a queen too.



Duckduckgo tells me this tower was set number 3445, which came on the market in 1977 and was on sale until 1993. I bought it about 1979-1980 when I was around ten, from my own money (I collected old newspapers around the village and sold them to a recycler). 56,80 Dutch Guilders I paid. An online tool tells me it would be equivalent to 61 Euros now, serious money still for a 10-year old. I remember the price distinctly, just as I remember what I paid for the Playmobil pirate ship (98 Guilders, set 3550), and for pallisade Fort Union (47,50 Guilders, set 3420).

40 years on, the guard tower can still delight. 57-odd Guilders well invested, I’d say.