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Open Source Transport Informatics tools

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Intro / Outline[edit]

There are now multiple mature general Open Source GIS data-serving platforms such as GeoServer and MapServer, as well as capable desktop GIS applications such as Quantum GIS (QGIS) and GRASS GIS. The excellent OSGeo organisation's website maintains a useful listing of these, as well as links to individual projects.

In recent years though, several open source extensions to GIS platforms such as these, and also free-to-access web GIS mapping platforms like Google Maps, have developed to allow analysis and evaluation of the effectiveness of a public transport network, in line with new knowledge about public transport best practice such as Integrated Multimodal Network Planning. These kinds of tools are a particular form of Transport informatics.

Many of these allow various forms of visual display and analysis such as in the form of Travel Time Maps. This supports a better visual evaluation and communication of the 'geography of mobility and accessibility' provided to public transport users under a given scenario. These could well be included in Indicator frameworks as an important aspect of assessing a city's provision of urban services to residents.

Relationship of informatics tools to datasets and data standards[edit]

Of course to use the tools, users need to either gain access to, or assemble, relevant geo-spatial data such as street networks, and/or public transport timetables. Again, some positive directions have occurred here through increasing efforts to standardise relevant data formats such as GTFS for public transport, and the OpenStreetMap project to create an open-access collaboratively developed global street network database.

Notably from a Community Informatics perspective, several of the tools originated or had significant input from civil society non-profit organisations in their development, and their open source nature means that groups with sufficient expertise can utilise them.

Informatics tools in relation to transportation modelling[edit]

Conceptually, such tools are different from full-scale transport simulation models - in that they support understanding and analysis of current transport networks or future scenarios, but don't include dynamics simulation of how current situations could evolve based on past behaviour. However in the medium-long term they should be able to be complementary to such models, as discussed in the Transportation modeling reform page.

Tools Surveyed for Review in Relation to Public Transport Network Redesign project[edit]

These particular tools were chosen for a review in the 3rd quarter of 2013 as part of the OSSTIP work package, OSSTIP/WP2- Transport Informatics tools review.

Name Sample Pic Homepage
Mapnificent
Mapnificent-Bris.PNG
http://www.mapnificent.net
Mapumental
SomersetHouse60mArr3pmZoom12.jpg
http://mapumental.com/
Graphserver
Transittimewalkscore.png
http://graphserver.sourceforge.net/
OpenTripPlanner
DcTime2.png
http://opentripplanner.com/planners-researchers/
Open Source Accessibility Toolkit No image yet https://github.com/Noblis/OSAT
TransitFeed
Google-ScheduleViewer-Trams-2.png
https://github.com/google/transitfeed

Other tools[edit]

That also look promising, but don't have their own evaluation/summary page yet:

Proprietary tools[edit]

(note:- possibly should be spun-off to their own page)

  • Remix - https://www.remix.com/ - a web-service based tool for network planning and analysis - focused on supporting (for a fee) practicing transport planners.

See also[edit]

External Links[edit]