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London leads on open transport data



Future Spaces Foundation Scorecard shows city top with Singapore in providing data for travel app development

London has come out on top of an analysis of the performance of several major cities in providing open data on transport and mapping.

The Future Spaces Foundation, a charity that studies living spaces, has said in its Vital Cities: Transport Systems Scorecard that London’s record of providing open access to real time transport data is the best example of data sharing.

The Scorecard analyses the transport networks of 12 cities around the world on indicators ranging from breathability to the density of cycle and pedestrian networks to the use of data and apps.

London scored top marks for facilitating the creation of multi-modal apps with the open availability of its live transit feeds. But it came second to Singapore in converting data into the most user-friendly and informative travel apps.

The research found that there is still room for developers in London and elsewhere in the world to improve the services they offer by taking their lead from Singapore’s Land Transport Authority, which provides its own web and mobile based route planning tool and app. It includes features not yet available in London, such as information about standing and seating room on public transport, as well as disabled access and the availability of parking spaces close to the passenger’s chosen destination.

Major benefits

Vernon Everitt, managing director of customers, communication and technology at Transport for London (TfL), said: “Making our data freely and openly available has delivered major benefits to our customers and road users through a whole range of new products and services.

“With more live feeds planned to launch later this year, we will continue to work in partnership with developers to go even further, including looking at more predictive information products."

TfL recently announce plans for the release of new groups of open data feeds, taking in the London Trams network and historical crowding data from the Underground.

In light of the research, the Future Spaces Foundation is calling on governments all over the world to implement effective open data policies that encourage everyone – including web and app developers, residents and tourists – to make use of the data available.

Ken Shuttleworth, the foundation’s chairman, said: “We believe that connected cities – those with well networked, efficient and sustainable transport systems – enhance the ability of people and enterprises to interact, exchange and innovate.”


Image by By Iridescenti, CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons


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