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Translink Buzzer Blog

TransLink API Developer Camp – July 18, 2012

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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 thebuzzer@translink.ca

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!

 

 


12 Comments

  • By Dan, July 12, 2012 @ 6:41 pm

    What about people who are interested in getting involved with the business/project management side of transit-related app development? Would there be any benefit for them to attend as well?

  • By andy mckay, July 12, 2012 @ 8:16 pm

    do i have to attend the camp to get access to the api?

  • By S. Morris Rose, July 13, 2012 @ 11:31 am

    I’ve been eagerly anticipating this announcement for some time, but can’t make this particular scene. I hope that there will be future similar events and that there will be sufficient lead-time in the future to permit people like me to plan it into our schedules.

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, July 13, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

    Hi Dan: The camp is primarily for people who’re coders and developers, so it’s not management focused I’m afraid.

    Andy: People who attend the event will get first access to the API as well as help determine what information will be given out. We will eventually send out the API for the wider developer community to use.

    S. Morris: We’ll do our best to inform everyone of any similar future events as soon as we know about them. I suggest joining the Google Group if you haven’t already. It’s a great way to join the conversation.

  • By S. Morris Rose, July 13, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

    Disappointing and inauspicious. I’d like to see a *practical* opportunity for interested developers to participate in the developers program. Dropping an announcement of a single event less than a week before it happens doesn’t represent that. Neither was the startup of the now two-month-old google group publicised here. The desire to ramp up slowly is understood, but this is a little like throwing a bouquet at a wedding. On the upside, the process is open… I think.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, July 13, 2012 @ 4:10 pm

    S.Morris: Sorry about that! Truly, you haven’t missed much so far though: the project really is in its infancy, and anyone coming to the camp or participating in the Google group now will have lots of opportunity to participate on the ground level. Obviously, the API won’t be useful to anyone if developers don’t have a real say. And though this camp may be a bit short notice, it won’t be the last opportunity, and we’ll of course learn from this process! Let us know how we can do this better and we will absolutely listen.

  • By Trevor, July 13, 2012 @ 11:18 pm

    What I find a bit odd/silly is holding a meeting specifically for developers (many of whom may have full-time jobs) on a weekday. Normally a lot of developer events are held on weekends for this reason.

    As secondary comment, I’m curious if you will be releasing your real-time data to Google.

    I would also advise getting the API out quick enough for ios developers to build something for the release of iOS 6, as I’m sure with apple dropping out google maps (and transit directions along with that), that users will be scrambling to find something and looking for translink to provide it.

  • By Kevin, July 23, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

    I’m a bit behind the time on this one, but hollah.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, July 24, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

    Trevor, Kevin: Sorry about that. We’re new to the developer camp world, so that’s very helpful. Weekends are a great suggestion! I’ll also ask about the real-time data for Google & iOS6 timing.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, July 24, 2012 @ 4:28 pm

    Trevor: OK, I’ve heard back from our developer team. Yes, our next project is to release gtfs-rt. And iOS 6 is slated for fall, and we should have V1 out by then.

    Hopefully that helps!

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Buzzer blog » TransLink real-time API is now available for developers! — November 2, 2012 @ 10:21 am

  2. The Buzzer blog » Developers: Some great transit apps that can help you get where you’re going — October 10, 2013 @ 7:00 pm

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