When it comes to freeing the data, we don’t just talk about it – we deliver. We are delighted that Transport for London is today launching its new website area for developers with free live Tube information, showing the location of trains across the London Underground network at any time. It is part of TfL’s digital strategy and of the Mayor’s commitment to putting government data out in the public domain through the London Datastore. It’s great to see TfL leading the way in making travel information available to passengers, how and when they want it, and to see them forging ahead with new technologies to improve services to the public in previously unthought of ways.
TfL is increasingly being recognised, not just in the developer community, but by the British and other national governments, as a pioneer in freeing the data – something that wouldn’t happen without the genuine commitment of its management. The benefits are clear – riding one of the “Boris bikes” last week to meet a US delegation from Twitter for dinner, I wouldn’t have found a free docking station in Shoreditch without the bike hire apps that are made possible (at no cost to the public) by the simple expediency of TfL publishing the cycle data.
The latest addition to the new look developers area is the live Tube travel news feed known as Trackernet. As well as tube train locations, other information includes
- Live traffic disruptions;
- Realtime road message signs;
- Barclays Cycle Hire docking station locations;
- Timetable of planned weekend Tube works;
- Station locations (for Tube, DLR and London Overground);
- River Thames pier locations;
- Findaride (licensed private hire operators);
- Oyster Ticket Stop locations.
Making the live Tube travel information available is the result of collaboration between TfL and Microsoft, creating the Azure Cloud platform to host the information that will meet the expected demand from thousands of developers. Thank you, Microsoft.
In the digital age Londoners expect to be able to find out where their tube train or bus is at the touch of a button and that is why having this live tracker feed is so important. By improving the way we help web developers and make this information available to them we can also provide a potential money spinner for the capital’s software development start ups. We are working closely with Number 10 to do what we can to help the digital cluster in London – and one of the most important is by freeing the data.
We are looking forward to seeing what the development community do with this live data.