Ric Roberts from Swirrl has saved me some typing (thanks, Ric!) by writing about two Greater Manchester transport related applications that have come out the Lovely Data hack days.
You should read Ric’s article for more details on the data and API that the applications use, but here’s a quick summary of them.
GM Bus Times
Developed by Ben Gibbs, GM Bus Times is a site that lets you quickly select a Greater Manchester bus route, shows the stops for that bus route on a map, and provides the times for when the next bus is due at a particular bus stop.
One thing in particular I like about the GM Bus Times site is that I can bookmark a web page that will give me the bus times for a specific bus service at a specific bus stop. Very useful for people like me who tend to get the same bus to work from the same stop.
Though the GM Bus Times site was developed quickly as part of the Lovely Data hack days, it does show how bus timetable information can be accessed in a more immediate way by building applications and sites that use open data that’s in machine-readable (and therefore “programmable”) formats, rather than static documents on a website.
I would love it if the GM Bus Times site could be optimised for mobile phones.
Developed by David Bamber, NextBus (open the link on a smartphone for best results!) is a mobile web app quickly developed to demonstrate how using location services on smartphones – Android phones, iPhone and the like – can help find bus stops near where you are right now and then tell you what buses are due.
Like GM Bus Times, NextBus shows an alternative way of accessing bus time information. By using open data and the capabilities of modern phones, you can quickly find out when your bus is due when you’re out and about.
Do you have any feedback on these apps or the ideas shown in them? Please leave a comment below or contact the developers directly.
We’re on the third floor of Four Piccadilly Place at the FutureEverything 2011 and the second Lovely Data hack day is go.
- Life Expectancy at Birth 2007-2009
- Indices of Multiple Deprivation Health and Disability 2010
- Accident and Emergency Admissions July to September 2010
- Accident and Emergency Admissions October to December 2010
- Accident and Emergency Attendances April to June 2010
- NHS Waiting Times For Cancer Treatment in Greater Manchester October to December 2010
- NHS North West spend data April 2010 to February 2011
- Transport for Greater Manchester Bus stop and schedules
- Transport for Greater Manchester Bus stop locations
- Transport for Greater Manchester Rail and Metrolink locations
- Manchester City Council parks and open spaces
- Trafford Council spatial assets
- Local Authorities with Declared Air Quality Management Areas
This event will be focusing on investigating data and building applications around Environment, Health and also Transport data again so that ideas developed from the first hack day can be continued.
Where and when?
The hack day will be taking place as part of the FutureEverything 2011 festival at 4 Piccadilly Place near Manchester Piccadilly Train Station. Go to the visitor information page on the FutureEverything website for transport links.
The hack day will start around 9.30am and carry on throughout the day until around 6pm.
Who’s it for?
If you are a developer, designer, artist, journalist or just interested what lies beneath the huge datasets that chart Greater Manchester’s health and environment then this is for you.
We’d like you to share your ideas, play with the data, build cool applications that show off your skills, and give feedback on how public data can be improved.
You’ll learn more about Data GM – the open data catalogue for Greater Manchester – and give feedback on how it can be improved.
You don’t need to be a super geek to get something out of the day (though super geeks are always welcome!). If you’ve got a great idea you can team up with someone who’s got some coding skills.
What you’ll need to bring
Ideas and an interest in finding out more!
A computer you can create, design and / or code stuff on.
Not a programmer? Bring a computer or mobile anyway and you can help with research on the day or testing the websites and things that people make from your ideas.
Some projectors will be available, but please bring your own VGA adapter if you want connect.
What we’ll bring
Coffee, connectivity, a cool venue at the heart of the FutureEverything Festival and maybe some pizza.
Register to attend
The event is free to attend, but registering on the Eventbrite the page for the hack day will help us figure out how many people plan to attend.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below or email Alan Holding at MDDA.
Lovely Data is funded by the Smart-IP project. The Smart-IP project will develop open innovation pilots in Manchester, Ghent, Cologne, Bologna and Oulu around the themes of Smart Environments, Smart Engagement and Smart Mobility. In Manchester we will be developing new services and products around the first two of these themes, and will be engaging with the local developer community and with citizens to ensure they can benefit the widest community. The project is led by Manchester City Council and part-funded by the European Union’s Competitiveness and Innovation Programme.
During the intro to the day some more ideas for apps and sites were talked about, including these…
- A “shake your phone” app that would suggest random places to visit in Manchester and provide details of how to get there using public transport.
- An app that sends you an alert when the last train or bus is about the leave so you have time to get to the station.
- A service that tells you if a bus coming along is accessible for wheelchair users, people with prams / baby buggies, etc.
I’ll put up more ideas here as I get to talk to people about them.
The Lovely Data Transport Hack Day is up and running.
Around 20 people are here already working on hacks and projects.