How Google Is Remapping Public Transportation and the GTFS-realtime Standard

Google is discussing a stiry named How Google Is Remapping Public Transportation. We did mention quite a few times the GTFS (General Transit Feed Specification) in the past.

Their summary: ""Google wants to 'organize the world's information,' but there isn't a marketplace or a category of knowledge it can organize without remaking it in the process. A case in point: public transportation. Largely outside the media spotlight, Google has wrought a quiet revolution over the last five years in the way commuters get schedule information for local buses and trains, and the way public transit agencies communicate with their riders. GTFS and GTFS-realtime, which Google invented, have become the de facto world standards for sharing transit data, and have opened up space for a whole ecosystem of third-party transit app developers. This in-depth article looks at the history of GTFS and Google's efforts to give people information (largely via their smartphones) that can help them plan their commutes on public transportation — and, not incidentally, drive a lot less.""

Specifically on the GTFS-realtime standard from the article: "To enable all that, Google introduced a new standard in 2011 called GTFS-realtime. It builds on GTFS, but is a different animal, since it includes new feed types for trip updates, service alerts, and vehicle positions, as well as provisions for constantly refreshing this data throughout the day. In an advisory to agencies, Google puts it this way: “Because GTFS-realtime allows you to present the actual status of your fleet, the feed needs to be updated regularly—preferably whenever new data comes in from your Automatic Vehicle Location system.”"

Tuesday Geonews: OSM Inspector, Single-Language Labels in Google Maps, TomTom Teaming with Oracle, and much more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode. Some of those news seem important enough to deserve their own entries, but I dare share them in a single one. Yes, that's another unusually long post. Normal posting frequency should resume next February!

From the open source / open data front:

From the Esri front:

From the Google front:

From the Microsoft front:

In the miscellaneous category:

Slashdot discussed a few geospatial-related stories:

In the maps category:

In the coming days, I'll be at Géomatique 2011, the major geospatial event in the province of Québec. Slashgeo is a media partner of the event.

Google Geonews: 45° Imagery, Weather Forecasts in Maps, GTFS-realtime, StreetView in the Amazon, 700M Google Earth Activations, and much more

I'm back in front of the keyboard after a 3 weeks break with my wife and daughters. I'll catchup and share the recent geonews in the coming days. Thank you for your patience. Let's start with Google geonews (because they're easier to aggregate).

From the official sources:

From other sources: Open Source Public Transit Data and Mapping Project

Via the OpenGeoData blog, I learned about the new initiative called Transiki, a crowdsourced wiki for transit data and maps. Transiki is pushed forward by Steve Coast, the founder of OpenStreetMap. This new initiative has a strong link with the open interchange format called General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) elaborated by Google a few years ago. and mentioned on Slashgeo a few times.

From their first blog entry: "What is the basic idea? Well, transit data is in 1,000 weird proprietary formats held by 1,000 different organizations with about 1,000 different attitudes to opening it up. [...] Transiki (will) look a lot like openstreetmap. The API looks similar. Instead of nodes, you have transit points. Instead of ways, you have transit routes. Instead of bizzaro-the-clown ontologies, there is tagging. There will be a GTFS importer. The code is open. The data is open. There will be the ability to modify both the long term and short term data. That means you can modify either the timetable for next season and you can also flag a particular route that is delayed right now today. Like openstreetmap, the API is open and free. And you can throw services against it to read/write as you see fit."

Syndicate content