Tag: maps

DevelopersInformation

Improved Roads Open Data – Car Parks & JamCams

In my previous post on Roads Open Data I outlined the importance of providing quality data for London’s roads, particularly at a time when our Road Modernisation Plan is being implemented and we are urging drivers to check for disruption before they travel.

We continue to make improvements to our roads open data, with London Underground live car parking spaces availability now available through the Unified API, as well as live video JamCams that give a far better indication of how traffic is flowing in the Capital.

London Underground car parks

London Underground has over 60 car parks with over 11,000 spaces. With the help of our partners NCP and SmartParking, we have released live data showing available spaces for 25 of these car parks. We are seeing whether we can expand the feed to cover all London Underground car parks in the future.

We don’t have this showing on tfl.gov.uk yet, but we’ve made the feed available as open data in the Unified API so that the dev community can have a head start.

You can get the full list of Car Parks from the Places API, which can also be searched by lat/long bounding box or radius. For each car park, we return information such as the address, opening hours, payment methods and facilities, and in some cases, the live occupancy. In the example below, Barkingside Station car park, the OccupancyUrl is returned, indicating that live data is available.

{
  "id": "CarParks_800491",
  "url": "https://api.tfl.gov.uk/Place/CarParks_800491",
  "commonName": "Barkingside Stn (LUL)",
  "placeType": "CarPark",
  "additionalProperties": [
  {
    "category": "Description",
    "key": "NumberOfSpaces",
    "sourceSystemKey": "CarParks",
    "value": "46",
    "modified": "2016-01-07T15:45:43.153"
  },
  {
    "category": "Description",
    "key": "NumberOfDisabledBays",
    "sourceSystemKey": "CarParks",
    "value": "2",
    "modified": "2016-01-07T15:45:43.153"
  },
  {
    "category": "Meta",
    "key": "OccupancyUrl",
    "sourceSystemKey": "CarParks",
    "value": "https://api.tfl.gov.uk/Occupancy/CarPark/CarParks_800491",
    "modified": "2016-01-07T15:45:43.153"
  }...

The URL is based on the place id of the car park, for example “CarParks_800491” so if you know the Car Park id, you can go straight to the occupancy data. We use a separate URL because we have a much shorter time-to-live in our cache for the occupancy vs. the place data (60 seconds and 1 day respectively). In the example below, using Barkingside again, we can see that there’s no spaces available right now.

{
 "id": "CarParks_800491",
 "bays": [
    {
     "bayType": "Disabled",
     "bayCount": 2,
     "free": 0,
     "occupied": 2
    },
    {
     "bayType": "Pay and Display Parking",
     "bayCount": 45,
     "free": 0,
     "occupied": 45
    }
  ],
  "name": "Barkingside Stn (LUL)",
  "carParkDetailsUrl": "https://api.tfl.gov.uk/Place/CarParks_800491"
}

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DevelopersInformation

Unified API Part 4: Roads Data

In Part 3 of this series, I gave examples of finding the ‘Routes of Things’ using the Unified API. This post will focus on roads – how to find and make use of the traffic, road disruption and planned works information on London’s road network.

We’re really keen for customers to check for disruption before they travel on all forms of transport, including the capital’s roads. Developers working with our Unified API have a really important role to play in developing products that meet road users’ needs. This is particularly important as we implement our Road Modernisation Plan – £4bn of investment in improving London’s roads – so planning ahead during these works is crucial for businesses and drivers across the city.

This means that the apps developers create will be meeting a genuine need, and we’re keen to make this process as easy as possible by explaining what data is available, how it can be used, and by taking feedback so we can make improvements.

All of the API examples in this page are live, however they do not include API authentication tokens. This means that if you follow the link as is, you will be using anonymous access, which is throttled for fair use, so you may get a 403 response. It is recommended for your own development you obtain an ‘app_key’ and ‘app_id’ by registering here. The data in these examples will be in JSON format, so installing a JSON formatter plugin in your browser will help you read the data returned.

Let’s start with the most prominent example of the roads information, shown when viewing the Traffic status board.

The Traffic Status Board gives info on all TfL managed routes on the London road network

The Traffic Status Board gives info on all TfL managed routes on the London road network

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Unified API Part 3: RoT – Routes of Things

In Part 2 of this series, Dan gave examples of finding the “Locations of Things” using the Unified API. This week, I’ll focus on the “Routes of Things” – the lines, routes and services that join up the locations on the TfL network.

As before, all of the API examples in this page are live, however they do not include API authentication tokens. This means that if you follow the link as is, you will be using anonymous access, which is throttled for fair use, so you may get a 403 response. It is recommended for your own development you obtain an “app_key” and “app_id” by registering here. The data in these examples will be in JSON format, so installing a JSON formatter plugin in your browser will help you read the data returned.

Let’s begin with the most prominent use of routes on the website – the status board. In the Unified API a line is the top-level entity which groups the routes of a service together. The Line endpoint allows us to request all of the lines for a given set of modes, so is a useful starting point for navigating into the available routes. Showing the status of a line is such a common use case that the endpoint also includes an option to include the service status for each line by appending /Status to the URL:

https://api.tfl.gov.uk/Line/Mode/tube,dlr,overground,tflrail/Status

rot_status

The status board requests the Tube, DLR, Overground and TfL Rail line status. A line can represent multiple routes around the TfL network.

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Unified API Part 2: LoT – Location of Things

Last week, I gave a brief overview of what’s in the API, and said that if something is on our website then it should be in our API.  Over the next couple of weeks we are going to take a look at some of the data in the API that you can use to build your own applications.

There are a few things to note before I begin going into specific data examples.  Firstly, all of the API examples in this page are live, however they do not include API authentication tokens.  This means that if you follow the link as is, you will be using anonymous access, and anonymous access is throttled for fair use, so you may get a 403 response.

It is recommended for your own development you obtain an “app_key” and “app_id” by registering here.  Access to our API is free to all.  Append you unique “app_id” and “app_key” as querystring parameters to get dedicated, higher rate limits than anonymous.  If you need even high rate limits, send us a message using the portal. The data in these examples will be in JSON format, and it is recommended that you install a JSON formatter plugin in your browser, this will help you read the data returned.

This week we will focus on the “Location of Things”, in particular finding the location and other useful information about transport related things in London. Let’s start with stations and stops – you’ll need to take a look at this web page:

https://tfl.gov.uk/hub/stop/HUBKGX/kings-cross-st-pancras-international/?Input=King%27s+Cross+%26+St+Pancras+International

This example shows a map

This example shows King’s Cross station on a map, including other transport options nearby with bus stops and cycle hire docks also shown.

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WebCAT – ‘The greatest map-geek invention ever’

Developing WebCAT, TfL’s new webpage for planners, has been quite a unique project. On one hand, this is a tool designed for a very specific audience with a specific purpose. On the other hand, we knew that there would be some interest from a much wider user group.

WebCAT is an acronym for Web-based Connectivity Assessment Toolkit. One of TfL’s responsibilities is to ensure that transport connections are taken into account when new buildings are planned anywhere in London. The planning rules require that major developments concentrate in areas with good public transport.

Developers and town planners are used to working with some indicators of transport connectivity when deciding what to build where. TfL’s Planning directorate initiated WebCAT in order to give information on these indicators in an interactive, graphical way.

Mapping websites that look at transport services exist elsewhere, but WebCAT offers something new. WebCAT is not a journey planner, and does not try to give information on the best way to travel.

The information on WebCAT comes directly from TfL’s strategic forecasting tools, and it's been called the “greatest map-geek invention ever”

The information on WebCAT comes directly from TfL’s strategic forecasting tools, and it’s been called the “greatest map-geek invention ever”

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