This week’s Melbourne meet was very much focused on the news this week that Public Transport Victoria have met their goal of releasing the timetable data in the General Transit Feed Specification, or GTFS. GTFS was originally specified by Google but has quickly become a defacto standard across the world.
PTV already provides some timetable through a restricted timetable API. Since this data set rarely changes – it’s not a live dataset, but the static, day to day timetable data – it makes more sense to have it all available.
And now it is – you can grab it from data.vic.gov.au. (Mac users will need to download 7zip – the command line unzip doesn’t work apparently)
Neil from PTV gave a quick explanation of the processes they are going through with the Google team to get the data integrated into Google Maps – a process that may take 3 to 6 months. There is also a push for better live data from trams and buses in the near future. The work they are doing at PTV to open their data is excellent and we can’t congratulate them enough for their efforts – and for listening to the community.
In the meantime, we can have at it. There were a couple of teams looking into getting the data into already existing open source apps to deliver a quicker service than that provided by Google, and at least one attempt to do a holistic analysis of service by suburb analysis. Expect to see some of those results here over the next few weeks.
We were also lucky enough to informally find out about a new temporal map of Australia with some funky data sets from newcomer Matt – look out for his presentation on April 29th about what he’s done and how he got his data. And Steve showed off opentrees.org, a map of council-managed trees in Victoria, created by combining 7 different council open data datasets.