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TfL opens car park and 'jamcam' data feeds



Provision of new data sources through APIs opens door to further development of travel apps for London

Transport for London (TfL) has taken a further step in opening up its data for developers with the setting up of two new feeds from its car parks and 'jamcam' traffic cameras.

The car park data will provide information on the 61 station car parks in London, including the number of spaces.

Dynamic feeds will provide information on how many of the spaces are being used and TfL is working with its contractors, NCP and SmartParking, on making these available for all the car parks. A TfL spokesperson said there are no plans, however, to make data available for the companies' sites that are not connected to Underground stations.

The video feeds will give developers access to static but regularly updated images and five-second looped videos from the jamcams. These can show how traffic is moving along particular roads and help people to understand live traffic conditions.

The videos are incorporated into TfL's live traffic website.

Phil Young, head of online at TfL, said: “Our free open data helps millions of people plan their journeys and avoid unnecessary delays. These new feeds will give people even more information that will help them avoid congestion on the roads.

The data has been made available free of charge through the Unified application programme interface (API) on TfL's developer website. This provides all the semantically similar data for each mode of transport in a common format and structure.

The list of car parks is available through the Places API, which provides URLs based on the place identities of the sites.

Apps trend

The move is the latest in a trend that has seen TfL release a range of data in recent years, including live travel information for its services, details of planned roadworks and live road incidents. These are currently powering almost 500 apps.

Late last year it held a number of hackathons with London universities to see how its data could be used to manage the road network more efficiently. It is planning to planning to stage more events this year, and to make more feeds available, including data on road safety, improvement work on tunnels and the modernisation of the road network.

It said is also looking at how to make complex fares information more accessible for developers, and to use historic and real time data to provide alerts of expected problems on roads and with public transport.

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

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