TransitCamp Edmonton: Data for Developers

I’ve been looking forward to this presentation for a long time! As you may know, I’ve been one of the more vocal citizens asking for an API or data dump from Edmonton Transit. I think only positive things will result from giving everyone access to the data! ETS simply doesn’t have the resources to build interfaces for the iPhone, SMS, etc., so releasing the data would enable other people to build them instead!

Today at TransitCamp Edmonton, I’m pleased to share with you that ETS has become the 2nd transit authority in Canada (and 29th in the world) to release their route and schedule information for free in the GTFS format!

Here are the slides from my presentation:

The ETS GTFS data is about 16 MB compressed and 177 MB uncompressed, so it’s quite a bit of data. If you’re looking for some help getting started, I’d suggest checking out the googletransitdatafeed project and the timetablepublisher project.

We’re also going to be holding a programming competition, as a little extra incentive for you to build something cool and useful with the data. So far we’ve got three prizes: 6 months of free transit for first place, 4 months for second place, and 2 months for third place (to clarify: that’s 6 months for the team, not for each individual on the team). I don’t have all the details yet, but stay tuned. I’ll be posting more information on the TransitCamp site (and here).

I think this is fantastic. Open cities are the future, and this is a big step in the right direction for the City of Edmonton.