[Talk-transit] Public Transport routing

Shaun McDonald shaun at shaunmcdonald.me.uk
Sat Sep 5 22:55:34 BST 2009

On 5 Sep 2009, at 20:47, Chris Morley wrote:

> Peter Miller wrote:
>> I have been comparing the timetables for October 2009 and August 2009
>> for my home town in Ipswich and I would estimate that 20% of the
>> routes have changed in that time. Some have merged, some have moved
>> operator some have disappeared. That is a lot and I haven't even
>> checked the individual timing for journeys or days of operation.  
>> There
>> are some 1.4 million bus journeys in the UK database so if 20% of  
>> them
>> disappear randomly every 10 months that is 300,000 changes to spot.
> In my area (Chester West and Chester) 19 of the 105 bus services were
> added, withdrawn or had their routes changes in September 2009 alone.
> This is higher than the average but it does illustrate the transient
> nature of routes with the current system in the UK. Unlike Péter
> Connell, I do not think that there are enough enthusiasts prepared to
> do the grunt work of making these changes systematically on a monthly
> basis in every local transport area. It might be fun adding routes,
> but it is difficult to be as motivated on a continuing basis. It's
> true that other OSM data is patchy and sometimes wrong, but is
> generally on a trajectory of continuous improvement. With information
> that is too transient we could eventually be in a situation where the
> quality was getting worse with time.
> I think this means that either we should have no routes (option A) or
> if we do they should be automatically updated. This requires local
> authorities to share the information they hold in a comprehensive
> machine-readable format, which we have to hope happens soon. Even
> then, bus routes are maybe better suited to presentation as an
> overlay, with the data in a separate database that also hold timetable
> information. Routes and timetables change together, usually separately
> from roads or geography.

It is the chicken and egg problem. Once this data starts getting used,  
people will keep updating it if they find it useful. It is the same  
time and time again in OSM. Also as there are more people in more  
areas getting involved adding some more stuff coverage will become  
less of an issue.


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