[Tagging] Public Transport Timetables

Paul Allen pla16021 at gmail.com
Wed Nov 7 14:33:41 UTC 2018

On Wed, Nov 7, 2018 at 2:15 PM OSMDoudou <
19b350d2-b1b3-4edb-ad96-288ea1238eee at gmx.com> wrote:

> > including the GTFS endpoints and license info as tags, and maybe then
> adding the ability to discover the GTFS Realtime extension would be the way
> to go
> +1

Although I've never used AOL, I have to say "me too."

If a transport company already uses GTFS then they're not going to want to
bother with duplicating
the same information in OpenStreetMap.  If they don't already use GTFS it's
probably because they
don't want to put in that sort of effort and nobody is forcing them to use
GTFS, so you have to rely
on mappers keeping it up to date (timetables in some places are very stable
and in other places
subject to change almost upon whim).

It's possible some companies use some method, other than GTFS, with license
that would allow it to be "screen scraped" in which case an auxiliary
database might be appropriate
and the tagging scheme that references GTFS could be expanded to include
this database.  But
I doubt it would cover more than a handful of cases and may not be worth
the effort involved.

Worst case, most routes have one or more known operators and we could have
a tag pointing to
the operator's web site (better still, the URL of the page showing
timetables, best of all the URL of
the timetable for that route alone).  Preferably a key distinct from the
current website/url keys, although
I'm open to arguments for re-using them.

And then there are copyright issues.  I can map one the path of variant of
one bus route by riding the
bus and breach nobody's copyright.  Timetables, whether taken from a
website, or a printed timetable
at a bus stop, open up copyright issues.  Who has the time to ride every
journey on every route
several times (to avoid one-off variations giving the wrong time) to figure
out what the timetable ought
to be?

Since we have many incomplete/missing/outdated bus routes it seems folly to
add this extra
level of detail in this way.  In reality it would deal with a minority of
the routes we already have
and would not be adequately maintained, resulting in stale info.  Incorrect
information is worse
than no information.

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