Belgian public transport company teams up with Google

News! De Lijn, a Flemish bus company, is about to share its data with Google. This means you will be able to look up your trip on Google Maps and Google will return you the possibility of going by public transport. It is a nice step in the right direction since they’re thinking about usability.

But let’s be pragmatic: if their customers want to find their way to the timetables as easy as possible, there is no way they can afford it to support all platforms and all ways of providing data. Therefore there is an easy solution: open it up! Let everyone use your data! Dozens of people, such as the iRail-team, can’t wait to get started on developing new apps and tools.

So yes: news, but not good nor bad news. We’re status quo. Except for some politicians who might think they delivered good work. Am I going to use it? Yes, I am! Everything beats the website of the company at this moment. Am I happy with it? No. If I could I would use an application which is optimised for social interaction and works really fast on my non-googlish phone.

About Pieter Colpaert

Pieter is a researcher in linked transport data publishing at MMLab - UGent - iMinds. He also co-founded Open Knowledge Belgium, in which he represents the iRail/Open Transport Working Group.

07. November 2010 by Pieter Colpaert
Categories: Politics | Tags: , , , | 3 comments

Comments (3)

  1. Also: do you really want Google to know where you live and where you’re going? Using Tor seems like the only way to ensure a modicum of privacy in this model.

  2. Pingback: Links 8/11/2010: Userful Becomes Free Software, Vandalism Suspected Amid Postponed LSE Move to GNU/Linux | Techrights

  3. Nondedju toch. Slechts enkele maanden geleden ben ik persoonlijk nog The DataTank gaan voorstellen bij de VIM, maar toen was de data van De Lijn oh-nee-nooit vast te krijgen!

    Ik ben het inderdaad eens met je conclusie: status-quo!

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