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ACTION Still Working with Google Transit

By Grail - 28 August 2009 7

For those of you interested in knowing how much progress ACTION has made on getting Google Transit working since Please lobby ACTION and ACT Govt to provide bus route and schedule data to Google last year

Thank you for your email dated 27/08/09 regarding ACTION’s Google Transit participation.

In relation to your enquiry, ACTION are continuing to work with Google Transit to deliver timetable information. Testing is ongoing at this stage.

Please keep a look out on the ACTION website, www.action.act.gov.au for updated information as it comes to hand.

I trust that this information is helpful.

If you have any further enquiries please contact the ACTION Information line on 13 17 10.

Yours sincerely

Bobby Racic
Complaints Officer
ACTION Buses
Enterprise Services Network
Department of Territory & Municipal Services
e: bobby.racic(at)act.gov.au | p: 6205 8783 | f: 6205 8056

One hopes that they’ll get this year’s routes in before the next change in timetables…

What’s Your opinion?


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7 Responses to
ACTION Still Working with Google Transit
patrick_keogh 9:14 am 10 Nov 09

Still not visible.

ACTION have been promising and promising this for several years. There are now multiple threads on the RiotACT about this. There have been multiple requests made to ACTION and the minister. Still no action (if you’ll excuse the pun).

Gus929 10:31 am 31 Aug 09

>simply announce that they do not claim copyright on their schedule information and allow >technically minded people to help with crowdsourcing the project.

It’s an interesting question, currently being tested in the US by the New York MTA, of whether the actual content of the timetable is subject to copyright. Given that the data itself is simply facts, which you could obtain externally if you had a lot of time on your hands.

Crowdsourcing the project would seem to make a lot of sense to me. Release a “public beta” somewhere, explain that some of the bus stops may be missing or times wrong, and make it easy for people to report the problems.

I’m actually a software developer, and late last year I was thinking about doing a better version of the ACTION web site, with Google Maps integration and a trip planner (oh, these novel 21st century ideas!) For the public good, rather than massive profits. I got as far as registering a domain name, but I dumped the plan when I saw that Google Transit was in the works.

>Perhaps they’re still preparing bus timetables on a whiteboard

I have a persistent mental image of someone driving around Canberra with a clipboard physically checking that all the bus stops are where the database says they are. Probably not the case (I hope), but the image sticks.

Grail 10:10 am 31 Aug 09

This person is not a confidential informant, and as complaints officer he’s one of the public faces of ACTION. Anyone who submits a complaint about the progress of the Google Transit project will get the same information.

Personally, I’d like ACTION to simply announce that they do not claim copyright on their schedule information and allow technically minded people to help with crowdsourcing the project. Even going the brain-dead approach of manually entering the data for Google by transcribing from printed timetables, we could have had this project finished by now.

It should not take two years to get data into the system when the timetables change every two years. Perhaps they’re still preparing bus timetables on a whiteboard and have no record of how many bus stops they have because someone erased it.

p1 3:08 pm 30 Aug 09

Why are this person’s name and contact details being published? – Did he agree to this? It seems totally unnecessary to have included them here – what do they add to this story.

While I would normally agree, the person is the complaints officer, and all the details are work details. Since his name in in the e-mail adress, it would have been hard to leave even that out. At least the @ has been replaced with an (at) to reduce spam…

miz 9:40 am 30 Aug 09

If only they would spend this money on fixing the weekend timetables!

NickD 6:35 pm 28 Aug 09

Why are this person’s name and contact details being published? – Did he agree to this? It seems totally unnecessary to have included them here – what do they add to this story.

Gus929 3:49 pm 28 Aug 09

According to the Google AU Blog, this was going to give live in June: http://google-au.blogspot.com/2009/06/google-australia-opens-doors-to-our-new.html

Google provide a clearly defined transit feed specification: http://code.google.com/transit/spec/transit_feed_specification.html .

If ACTION can’t get their data into this format, the only likely explanation I can come up with is they are incompetent, either because their data is bad or because their IT people are clueless.

Not that any of it helps much when the buses are constantly late.

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