It has been less than two weeks since real-time arrival information for Big Blue Bus became available online and on certain smartphone apps. And the good news keeps coming.
At the Big Blue Bus General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) service site, there is now a sample real-time transit map. Behold!
So, the above is just a screenshot, but the real map here shows you in real time the location of all the buses in the system. You can hover your cursor over each colored circle to see if it’s running late or early and approximately by how long. The source code is available through GitHub.
“I’m hoping that this example program will make BBB’s real-time data accessible to more developers,” said Kevin Hobson, a web developer for the city. “The program was written to show how different pieces of GTFS data, such as routes, trips, and vehicle positions, are used together.”
Hobson led a session at Santa Monica’s “Hack the Beach” event on June 6, during which the city and Big Blue bus opened up several data sets to web developers and explained how that information could be used in third-party apps.
The Big Blue Bus’ GTFS-rt is just the most recent addition to the city’s award-winning open data portal, which launched in September 2014.
Since then, Santa Monica’s open data initiative has drawn recognition from the Public Technology Institute (PTI), which awarded the city for “Transparency, Collaboration and Third Party Applications Through Open Data,” according to a statement issued by city officials Tuesday.
The city’s open data portal was recently ranked number 38 in the 2015 InformationWeek Elite 100, “a list of the top business technology innovators in the United States,” city officials said. “One of only a handful of local governments in the ranking, this designation groups Santa Monica with the very best in the country at developing practical and measurable uses for technology that drive real business value,” officials said.
Currently, the city’s open data portal ranks number 17 in the U.S. City Open Data Census, a partnership of Code for America, the Sunlight Foundation, and Open Knowledge Foundation, according to officials.