Published on May 25, 2008
better faster cheaper Joe Hughes Google firstname.lastname@example.org
Goal: Communicate better with riders
Goal: Better internal information
Problem: Agencies are strapped for cash and developers
Most of this data is scraped or hand-entered
There’s got to be a better way.
the agency the public
Of course, the truth is in bet ween. Within every bureaucracy, there are people working to make things better. The truth is somewhere in between.
In 2005, we launched Google Transit, a fast trip planner that made it easy to ﬂip through different results for a given transit trip.
Last year, public transit became a ﬁrst-class citizen in Maps. This means that it’s easy to discover whether public transit makes sense for your trip...
How does Google get this data? How can we collect this data, for the whole world?
...and make it easier for the next developer?
So we started from something that worked (Portland TriMet data dump), and created the Google Transit Feed Speciﬁcation (GTFS)
It’s CSV; easy to understand, and maps well to the DB table- oriented workﬂow that agency IT staff are familiar with
It’s an open format, and its further development is decided by the community of users.
The agencies prepare these feed and put them on their server for Google to retrieve... but they’re also usable by other developers if the agency is willing http://www.google.com/intl/en Agency Your transit project?
Devin’s hack is able to use other agency GTFS
Think of outside developers as a highly motivated R&D lab
Be willing to adopt successful projects
The ideal outcome: Agencies get new tools Developers get support and recognition
Google Maps API learn how to make a mashup code.google.com/apis/maps Headway Wiki get inspired by what others have done headwayblog.com/wiki Google Transit group talk to like-minded folks groups.google.com/group/googletransit GTFS format learn how to publish your schedules for reuse maps.google.com/transitfeed Contact me get in touch! email@example.com
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