TfL opens up data feed to developers

Transport for London (TfL) said that more than 2000 developers have signed up to access open data Application Program Interface (API) over the last six months.

The data feeds can be used by developers to create travel information apps to help commuter better plan travel around the city.

The data is available free of charge at TfL said this access forms part of a wider commitment to make the information it holds openly available in order to assist developers in creating better products and services.

So far, around 8,200 developers are now registered for TfL’s Unified API with almost 500 apps are now being directly powered by this open data.

Information about trams will be added to the open data feeds in the coming weeks, TfL said to enable people in south London to know when their tram will arrive and the status of their service. TfL will also release historical crowding data about key London Underground stations to see if this can help stimulate new information products, including the predicted future status of the system at certain times.

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Another initiative sees the transport body working with satnav firm TomTom to trial a bespoke data feed covering the planned road closures for the event using DATEXII – an industry standard format for traffic event planning.

Phil Young, head of online at TfL, said: “Across London, millions of people every day use apps powered by our open data to check the Tube, find a bus or see how the roads are running.

“This same data powers our website, allowing customers to choose between using or simply downloading any apps which are directly powered by us. We are committed to making our information freely available to help stimulate new products and services so that people have better information in the form that best suit them.”

Alan Bristow, director of road space management and chair of the Surface Transport Data and Technology Steering Group at TfL, said: “We’re keen to see how this data could be used more widely to help predict issues on the network to help identify hot spots more quickly, and this hack day was the latest step towards developing new and exciting applications to help keep London moving.”

Colin Marrs

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