Over the past year that I’ve been blogging and tweeting about TransLink’s new mobile site, there’s been a recurring theme among the comments and questions from our riders. People generally seem to like m.translink.ca, but they want to know if we still have an app or are planning on making one.
There are few reason’s why we decided to discontinue our TransLink app in favour of our new mobile website. One reason is that a website can be accessed by a larger group of mobile and desktop users. Our new mobile website currently supports iPhone and iPad users, as well as mobile devices (smart phones and tablets) which use current Android and Blackberry operating systems. It can also be accessed on most any desktop. Our old app could only be downloaded onto iPhones.
The bigger reason why we put our attention on a new mobile website instead of an app is that talented developers could have access to our real-time transit information and build seemingly endless customized apps and websites to suit most any desires our users might have in a mobile transit interface.
TransLink has a lot of transit data available for developers to use to make fantastic transit related services. That process of sharing this information, in real-time and not just scheduled data, starts next week. Here’s the vital information:
API Developer Camp
Wednesday, July 18th from 10:30AM SHARP-1:30PM
TransLink Head Office – 16th Floor of Metrotower II – 4720 Kingsway, Burnaby
The camp will be more of a discussion than a hands on developing event. If participants would like to bring their computers or devices, they’re welcome. Participants will be given access to the API (application programming interface) at some point during the day. Our TransLink staff would like to hear from the developer community about whey need information wise in order to build apps and websites that regular riders will find useful. During the day, participants will be able to converse in a group and/or chat with TransLink staff involved with the API one on one.
Once the day is done, TransLink will try to deliver the information that many developers think would help their work. Our pursuit is supply information that our riders want.
Releasing data to the developer community is a tradition we have at TransLink. The previous proliferation of apps based on our old scheduled transit data is proof of this.
If you’re a developer and are interested in helping us help you build a transit app or website using our real-time transit data, you’ll want to do the following before July 18:
Send an email with the word “API Camp” in the subject field to firstname.lastname@example.org
Include your name and telephone number
Please indicate if you have any food allergies (We’ll be providing lunch)
Check out the Google Group for TransLink Developers before the session to get ‘up to speed’
This is a great way for us to work with the developer community once again. The camp is the same day as I Love Transit Night, so if you want to stick around for the event, we’d love to see you there!