[OSM-talk] Is anyone making public transport routing maps based onOpenStreetMap data?

Steve Chilton S.L.Chilton at mdx.ac.uk
Wed Dec 17 08:58:10 GMT 2008

Andrew Turner blogged on "The State of Transit Routing" the other day. See:

	-----Original Message----- 
	From: talk-bounces at openstreetmap.org on behalf of Peter Miller 
	Sent: Wed 12/17/2008 2:29 AM 
	To: Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 
	Cc: Talk Openstreetmap 
	Subject: [OSM-talk] Is anyone making public transport routing maps based onOpenStreetMap data?

	On 16 Dec 2008, at 23:30, Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason wrote:
	> I'm interested in completely mapping my city bus network, it would be
	> great if there was some online routing application that I could go to
	> that could plan my routes. Of course I'd have to provide it with
	> sufficient survey information to do this, which would be part of
	> mapping it obviously.
	> Routing applications based on OSM data also have the opportunity to do
	> inter-network routing. You could step onto a bus in one city, take a
	> rail to another one, inter-city bus to yet another city, then a bus
	> and walk on a footway to your destination. All based on OSM data.
	I am very interested in such an application and have taken some time 
	to see what is happening around the world.
	Graphserver seems to be the application of choice for route planning 
	and it can work with OSM data and with public transport schedules 
	often in a Google Transit format. See the 'Multimodal Shortest Path 
	Tree of Bay Are' example in their gallery which uses OSM and google 
	transit data:
	Here is a reference to a public transport route planner that uses OSM 
	data and Google Transit but I can't find a deployment.
	"SITI: a multimodal journey planner based on open source software and 
	'de facto' standards"
	"Our project demonstrates that this barrier can be overcome from very 
	small budgets. We have
	developed a completely open source solution for a multimodal door to 
	door public transport
	information system based on several 'de facto' standards and open 
	source packages. Our prototype is
	simple and scalable, enabling the deployment of multimodal journey 
	planners with a wide range of
	scope, from metropolitan to international coverage.
	First of all, the cartography is based on Openstreetmap (OSM), [snip]
	"We have chosen Google Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) as data 
	exchange format for public
	transport information. GTFS is the format developed by Google for its 
	multimodal journey planner
	Google Transit. We also have demonstrated how to export the full 
	timetable database of a real
	public transport operator like ETM (Empresa de Transport Metropolità 
	de València) to GTFS,
	enabling route calculation both from our prototype and from Google 
	"The route calculation is performed by Graphserver, an open source 
	package distributed under a
	BSD license, written in C and Ruby. We have extensively extended 
	Graphserver to improve its
	integration with OSM and GTFS, and to incorporate human readable 
	driving directions
	I have just found this one, that also uses OSM and Graphserver for a 
	community based transit journey planner for Toronto:
	"In fact, almost all the tools we’ve used to build MyTTC are open 
	source. The trip planner is based on Brandon Martin-Anderson’s 
	excellent graphserver library, using data from both MyTTC and the 
	OpenStreetMap project, an open source mapping initiative. Nearly 
	everything was written using the powerful and elegant Ruby language 
	under merb, along with a host of other open source tools from 
	databases to webservers. The open source nature of our tools have 
	enabled us to not only customize and improve them, but we’ve also had 
	the opportunity to send those improvements back upstream.
	Can I suggest that one takes a layering approach to this (as the 
	professional transport sector does) and some layers belong in OSM and 
	some not...
	Firstly the bus stops (or more generally 'stop 'points) which is where 
	one physically accesses the transport system which should be point 
	features within OSM.
	Secondly the routes the vehicles take which traveling on the network 
	to get from stop point to stop point. In most cases this is obvious, 
	but in a limited number of cases one will need to include route points 
	that are not stop points. These might use the route relation and 
	detail every way that is involved for every route, but this is more 
	detail than a route planner needs that can work out most stop to stop 
	routing without guidance. Including detailed routing in OSM means that 
	it has to be updated every time the schedules change.
	All of the rest of the data can then be in Google Transit Feed 
	Specification (an open source data standard controlled by Google) and 
	can feed GraphServer or equivalent for route planning. GT is not 
	perfect and can't represent complex rail journeys but it is open 
	source and there is data available already in it that can be used and 
	it is a good starting point:
	I am not sure how one would explicitly refer to the schedules file 
	from OSM. Possibly all the stop points in a area would be part of a 
	'network' relation that that network relation would refer to the 
	external schedules file using a 'schedules' URL.
	I think we can expect some other initiatives in this space soon along 
	the lines of openrouteservice and yournavigation.
	What I can't find is a good data entry tool for GTFS for entering and 
	checking schedules.
	Would it be useful to create a list for discussion of public transport 
	applications within OSM. Could I suggest a title of 'talk-transit' or 
	should this conversation be part of the 'talk-routing' list? Including 
	PT routing in the talk-routing list might make some sense because 
	there is always a walking element to the routing and people interested 
	in routing may also be interested in PT routing. I certainly think 
	this conversation needs a 'home' that is off the main talk list which 
	is too busy already.
	Peter Miller
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