We have long believed that the future of new mobility and sustainable transport in and around cities lies in the far better and closer linking of the thing in your pocket with the overall mobility system that you want to make use of. The whole system! Here is a piece of the puzzle from Wired UK reporting on Transport for London’s (TfL) recent decision to join the open data movement. One step at a time, but that’s just the way it is in our sector.
TfL’s live Tube information returns, empowers developers
– By Duncan Geere. 14 December 10
Source: Wired UK – http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2010-12/14/tfl-trackernet-tube-data
Transport for London (TfL) has returned its live Tube information data feed, named “trackernet”, to life after it was taken down earlier in the year.
The transport agency, which looks after not only the Tube, but also London’s buses, cycle hire stations, riverboats, trams, taxi cabs and some of the overground railway surrounding the capital, recently launched a new area on its website for developers to build applications using publicly available data.
How much of the data that the agency should be making public has been a matter of much debate in recent months, but most developers now agree that TfL is moving in the right direction. The agency has returned to life its departure board information feed, which shows where trains on the Underground are every thirty seconds. The feed was taken down earlier in the year, following the popularity of one particular transport mashup.
Chris MacLeod, TfL’s Director of Group Marketing, told Wired.co.uk: “This is great news for our passengers. We are committed to making travel information available to passengers how and when they want it. Trackernet — which will lead to some new apps and which many developers have already tested for themselves — is a great example of how TfL is using new technologies to provide better travel tools for public transport users.”
The economic development advisor to the Mayor of London, Anthony Browne, added in a blog post: “TfL is increasingly being recognised, not just in the developer community, but by the British and other national governments, as a pioneer in freeing the data — something that wouldn’t happen without the genuine commitment of its management.”
Developer reaction has been positive, too. Malcolm Barclay, who created the popular London Travel Deluxe iPhone app and has already put an app together to display the departure boards, told Wired.co.uk: “We are seeing commitment and engagement from the top down at TfL with the development community. Today is a good day for open data. I already have requests for certain features that were not possible before, and the forthcoming journey planning API and potential iBus integration will build this into a very impressive offering. All manner of apps will be possible.”
TfL says that the next feeds to be released will be data from its Journey Planner, and information on congestion charge camera locations.