TfL held an open data evening at the AWS Loft last week and the event saw experts from TfL discuss the recent and upcoming additions to our Unified API, alongside other new datasets which could be released in the future.

Lucy Fish

Lucy Fish, Customer Strategy Lead in the TfL Travel Demand Management team discusses crowding data at the AWS Loft event


Phil Young, Head of TfL Online, opened the AWS Loft event by explaining why our open data policy is so important to London:

“Our free open data now powers London, enabling better informed journeys than ever before and offering the chance to address the key challenges of our city, while supporting hundreds of technology enterprises. The reach of our information continues to grow with 42% of Londoners using apps powered by our data, alongside growing usage of our website.”

You can see a PDF of all the slides used in the presentation from the AWS Loft event, by clicking here.

Read a detailed account of the data sets and other issues discussed on the night on the AWS blog.

If you attended the event, or if any of the issues mentioned in the presentation slides are of interest to you and the work you’re doing with our open data, we’d love to hear from you. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Posted by Stephen Irvine

Stephen is the Community Manager and Digital Blog editor for Transport for London

6 Comments

  1. Hello Stephen, I have been digging into the TFL API and am a bit struggling with many pieces not quiet being connected or documented enough. I cant find a developers forum, the login area to get an API key doesnt have a support link at all and the blog, seems to be more of a news blog than a discussion forum.

    There are a few things I am trying to get out of the API in terms of bus stops and arrival times, but whenever I add filtering (types, modes, categories) my request breaks without explanation on what is wrong and the documentation is not helping to support me with the right grammar so it seems.

    Where can i find help?

    Marcus

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    1. Stephen Irvine May 12, 2016 at 10:05 am

      Hi Marcus, at the moment the best way to get help would be to ask questions on relevant posts on this blog (probably this one in this case https://blog.tfl.gov.uk/2015/12/07/unified-api-part-5-aot-arrivals-of-things/) or by sending us a message through the TfL API Portal (https://api-portal.tfl.gov.uk). We are currently investigating ways to make it easier for developers to communicate with us, including the potential for creating a forum. Any developments will be announced on this blog when they are available, but for now if you ask questions about arrivals on that post we’ll make sure you get an answer.

      I hope that helps.

      Stephen

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  2. Andrew Sinclair May 19, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    Hi,

    I attended the evening, very interesting event, looking forward to the next one.

    I do have one question: with regard to data around how full tube trains are, it was mentioned that this data will be made available in real-time sometime in the future. I also recall it was based on the weight of the trains, and that weighing of trains was already implemented on the Victoria Line.

    Can anybody confirm this and provide any more detail on how this works and timescales for when the data may be available?

    Thanks,

    Andy

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    1. Stephen Irvine May 24, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      Hi Andrew, thanks for getting in touch and for attending the event. Our Travel Demand Management team have provided the following answer on this:

      For the purposes of efficient and effective breaking on trains and a comfortable journey for passengers, each carriage has a suspension system (sometimes known as a Bogie). The suspension system calibrates depending on the weight of the train, as the weight affects breaking and vibration. So as more passengers board, the suspension adjusts and transmits a signal. The train then aggregates all the signals to transmit a combined value for the train weight to a central database. We can then query a database to collect a percentage full value for each train. The Victoria line is currently the only line we receive percentage full as this has newer rolling stock for other lines we receive Low / Medium / High, or nothing at all.

      We are currently validating the data to determine latency and accuracy and also apply a level of prediction, as this is also valuable to the customer as things are very fluid on the network. In summer we plan to release data on train loading based on a typical weekday for all LU lines. Real-time and predicted train loading is more complicated and limited depending on the data available, so release dates are unknown for this at the moment.

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  3. Hi Stephen,

    Thanks for your detailed reply, very interesting stuff!
    I can’t wait for this data to start being released as I have some great ideas as to how it can be used within a mobile app. Looking forward to more updates soon,

    Thanks,

    Andy

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    1. Stephen Irvine May 27, 2016 at 10:10 am

      Thanks Andy, we will of course post all updates regarding our data on this blog so keep an eye out for any news.

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