2010/10/18 Joe Hughes <joe.hughes.c...
> Steve Coast of OSM/CloudMade has just launched a new project around
> transit data—here's the initial blog post/manifesto:
> It's good to see some new energy aimed at the problem of aggregating
> transit data; I'm interested to see where this goes.
I hate to be negative, but I'm pretty skeptical. For agencies that
have open data at least, a HTTP link to a GTFS feed on the data
exchange seems like a perfectly web-service API to me. From my
perspective as someone who writes systems that consume this
information, there are a few big problems that remain to be solved:
1. No standardized format for providing real-time information and
updates. The publicly available nextbus API seems a step in this
2. The tools available for processing and analyzing GTFS information
still aren't 100% there: they're python-only, and the popular one
(googletransitfeed) is kind of slow. I think the solution here has
it's mostly just a matter of sitting down and doing the work required.
On the other hand, I don't see how putting things into a wiki-like
structure helps to solve either of these problems. Am I missing
The only real use case I can see for something like this would be as a
centralized repository of user corrections and additions to agency
data. Having dealt with crappily annotated or just plain wrong GTFS
information, I can confirm this is a real need, but I'm not 100% sure
how urgent it is.