[Talk-transit] Subject: Re: Railway route relations

Hillsman, Edward hillsman at cutr.usf.edu
Thu Aug 6 13:52:41 BST 2009

On 5 Aug 2009 14:59:04 +0100, Peter Miller wrote:

> I totally agree, however we are just setting out on a long journey to  
> capture all the transit data for the world, so lets get the modelling  
> clear now and not be held back by some tag-updating!
> As we are aware the various transit strands and proposals were  
> initially created bottom-up in a rather random way (which is the  
> nature of these projects). Oxomoa then did a good review of the  
> tagging and identified a number of gaps and inconsistencies with the  
> German community which started to bring it all together. We have also  
> had some useful input from the professional transit community.
> I suggest that we put significant effort into the wiki and modelling  
> at this point to get all the transit related pages to fit together in  
> a consistent way to our liking and that this will pay big dividends in  
> the future.

I would like to be part of the effort Peter is proposing. It now appears likely that our research center will receive funding to begin developing a multimodal trip planner using OpenStreetMap data. If this does indeed come to pass, then one of the things that we will need to do as part of this work will be to work with the OSM community to ensure that OSM can record the data needed for the transit part of such a system. We plan to develop an advisory committee for the project, including people from US transit agencies and from the OSM community (especially those working with transit data in Europe, where most of the OSM transit activity seems to be), to advise us on the needs and the possibilities. The first phase to be funded would focus on transit data and on tools for uploading transit data from common formats (at least, common in the state of Florida, plus data that some agencies have converted into the Google Transit Feed Specification) into OpenStreetMap, but obviously that requires having a good, clear model of what we are uploading into. And, somehow we will need to work out a way to store and access timetable data which, as far as we can tell, OSM now does not handle. We envision an eventual system that we think also would be able to work with railway timetables in Europe, and to interline between systems, as well as interline between bus, rail, bicycle, and walking modes. Although our initial focus will be on urban public transit systems, we know there is some interest in this among the US intercity bus industry, and I anticipate someone from that industry would be part of the advisory committee as well.

We are drafting the scope of work for the project now. Within the constraints of having to deliver certain kinds of results by the end of this phase of the project (such as the uploads, and assurance that the desired system can indeed be developed on an OSM base), we are trying to include as much flexibility as possible for us to work collaboratively with other organizations in figuring out what needs to be done and how best to do it. My best guess is that we will have confirmation of the project by the end of the month, and authorization to begin work by the end of September, although these steps can always take longer than expected. Certainly I can participate on my own time before then.

Best regards,

Ed Hillsman

Edward L. Hillsman, Ph.D.
Senior Research Associate
Center for Urban Transportation Research
University of South Florida
4202 Fowler Ave., CUT100
Tampa, FL  33620-5375
813-974-2977 (tel)
813-974-5168 (fax)
hillsman at cutr.usf.edu   

More information about the Talk-transit mailing list