What open data can do

There’s an article by John Naughton in The Observer this morning – What a bright spark can do with open data – and the tools to use it. Matthew Somerville & friends have taken train data and the application programming interface which Transport for London has made available, and put the data onto Google Maps. Now you can sit and watch little yellow pins moving round the London Underground at http://traintimes.org.uk:81/map/tube/, watching the trains’ positions in (almost) real time.

As the article in The Observer suggests, maybe not very useful, but what it does do is show the power in the data that government bodies control, and are often loath to release.

P.S. But an article in the Guardian today reports that the live map has been taken down due to demand for TfL’s data exceeding their expectations – requests for data increased from 180,000 to 10,000,000. Goes to show.

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