Friday, January 7, 2011

Public initiatives: OC Transpo Live Data

A recent article on OpenFile Ottawa talked to some of the city's open data advocates about a project they've embarked on to offer people live OC Transpo route timing data. From OpenFile:
Currently, bus locations are updated every two minutes, and the GPS signals are occasionally interrupted by tall buildings. But Ocampo-Gooding believes it may be possible for software to infer even more accurate information in the future.

On the much-talked about bus tracking app, he explains that software developers already have basic versions of it and that he "would be surprised if you had to wait beyond the new year to get access to that sort of stuff."

"The city is really excited about this. They love to see how citizens are playing with the data, creating new services, new jobs, and they hope to see more cool stuff come out," he explains. "It's not just making an iPhone app that shows you where the bus is, it's also doing stuff like monitoring where the buses go, where they slow down, and passing that off to academics or urban planners."
Check out the whole article; it's not too long, and it's got some great other details in it, too.

Check out the actual web page, too: Type in your station number, and know whether the next run is on time, early, late, or... well, "other", I guess. I've bookmarked the station I catch my bus at, and it's going to be a handy page to have when I'm leaving work to catch the bus.


Travis Boisvenue said...

The GPS pilot program was actually suspended indefinitely earlier today.

More details in the comments of the OpenFile store:

And a note from developer Edward Ocampo-Gooding on it here:

Thall said...

Wow - I was so excited to see this and make use of it. Of course, the day we discover it is the day that the pilot project ends. Hopefully the city can resolve the issues and get this back up and running (although it sounds like it could be a month or more...).