Following the addition of the Capital’s tram network to the Tube map for the first time earlier this month, we’ve made some improvements to the trams data in our API. The representation of the Tram network has been merged from four individual lines down to a single line. This makes Trams easier to interpret for customers, and consistent with other rail modes like London Overground.
Part of TfL’s commitment to open data and working in collaboration with key organisations to develop innovative solutions for our customers, we’re a partner for MasterCard’s three-day Trip Hack which launches on Friday June 3. Coding takes place on Saturday and the event concludes on Sunday June 5 when the £10,000 prize will be awarded to the winning team.
The latest AWS User Group UK event takes place this week, on Wed 25th May from 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM. The first session will be presented by expert speakers from TfL, with a discussion of our open data journey.
You can see full details of the evening’s agenda, including the sessions following ours, and register to attend by following this link (if there are still places available).
On the development team we constantly test our own API, a task that can become very repetitive. As the Unified API is a REST API, this involves constructing, editing and sending URLs, then examining the JSON responses.
This is possible using just a browser, but can become very tedious and fiddly. There are tools available to help with this and we’ve found they give a massive boost to productivity for this kind of work.
One tool we use is Postman which streamlines the basics of working with APIs, and adds powerful features for testing, repeatability, and automation. We use it to run tests against our endpoints, and to mock up then flesh out new data feeds.
As part of a wider road safety strategy, last week we launched the London Collision Map and London collision data on our website and in our API, as part of our ongoing commitment to providing open data. We’ve also made improvements to cycle journey planning.
The new cycle journey planning features include:
- Google street view images at every turn of the route to help cyclists prepare a ‘mental map’ of their route and visualise junctions before they make their journey.
- The location and details of cycle parking at London rail stations including information on the number of potential spaces, the type of cycle parking and whether it is covered.
- ‘Cycle route classifications’ for each section of the journey describing the type of cycling environment that cyclists will encounter along their route (e.g. Cycle Superhighways or routes through parks) helping them to be more informed about the journey they will be making.
- Identification of steep hills along the route.
The other new feature, the London Collision Map, allows searches for road collisions across London, providing information about when and where they occurred, as well as the severity of the incidents, dating back to 2005. It uses STATS-19 casualty dataset, collected annually by the Department for Transport, and shows a significant reduction in the number of collisions over time.
Through this data we’re able to inform people about junctions and roads that have high numbers of collisions, and where road users should be particularly careful. The 2014 figures show that this number fell to its lowest level since records began, in line with the Mayor’s target to halve the number of people killed and seriously injured (KSI’s) by 2020.
With a real focus on our Unified API and open data policy in recent months, both on this blog and through the Hackathons and events (such as the Urban Traffic Hackathon a few weeks ago) that TfL staff have been involved with, we’ve received lots of great feedback and questions from the developer community, just as we’d hoped we would.
One such question that has cropped up many times is one around customer volume and flow data, i.e. how can we help developers create apps that take into account how busy certain lines, stations, platforms, etc are likely to be when customers are planning a journey.
To provide an update on where we are with this data, TfL’s Data Services Manager Ryan Sweeney offers this summary, and asks for your feedback to help us ensure we’re providing data that is both relevant and useful: