Open Data: Developers' Big Break

Posted by Gena Folts on Mon, Mar 15, 2010

Courtesty of Giuseppe Andrea's Flickr photostream Who else is fed up with waiting in the pouring rain, the umbrella-thrashing wind, and the bitter cold with only one question on your mind; "where's my bus?!"

This weather has brought with it over 21 MBTA service delays since yesterday, affecting passengers on the Red Line, Green Line, Silver Line, Commuter Rail, and countless bus lines.

I can find out about these service delays through MBTA's website, but when I am already out the door and on my sprint to the stop I would rather use something like the MassTransit iPhone app, available thanks to the state's Open Data Initiative, a statewide program to release masses of valuable public data to the citizens of the Commonwealth for development of mobile and Web applications.

On a day like today, this new app is a godsend! But what about times when I'm not worried about rain, but instead pollen in the air or neighborhood crime? This is the topic of our upcoming event:

"Where's My Bus? - Govt 2.0 Strategies for Leveraging Public (Transportation and Other) Data" on Wednesday, March 24 at 6:00pm

We will hear from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, who is working with web developers to develop mobile applications that relay transit data in real-time on our mobile devices and in-store LED screens. This is great news for commuters, but also for entrepreneurs to transform spreadsheets about bus and T schedules, public safety figures, health data, and air quality information into useful applications. You can learn about interesting applications that have been developed using this data, and how you can use the information for developing your own mobile or Web application.

Most importantly: you'll be able to take shelter in the Dunkin' Donuts until your bus arrives, instead of living in the cold, wet, and miserable fear that doing so means missing the bus!

This event will take place at the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center - 1 Memorial Drive Floor 11, Cambridge MA

Click here to learn more and register for this event.