Tag Archives for free culture
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 … Continue reading
Transport data roaming
When I’m writing code I’m quite regularly distracted by what-ifs… For instance: what if I’m on a train towards Spain and I boarded in Belgium. As I have a smartphone with an application installed (let’s call it BeTrains for iRail) which gives me real-time information on my trajectory, I don’t want BeTrains to be useless once I cross the border. BeTrains should automatically switch to the trainsystem of that country.
To achieve this the right way we need some other structures. Open data is one thing, but providing data in an open standard is even more important. Certainly for this particular case that I describe even better if you read the full story on my blog at http://bonsansnom.wordpress.com
Pieter Continue reading
Meeting the NMBS
After listening to Michaël Vanloubbeeck on their Internet strategy, he asked us straight away what we thought about their mobile web application. There are three points we thought worth mentioning:
1. The number of clicks before you can see the right data is about 4 times too much. I only want to click once.
2. There is no autocompletion on the station names.
3. There is no button to switch destination and departure station
On top of that we noted that for big phones like most android, maemo/meego, bada and iphone phones, the site was too small. It was a great mobile website optimized for small screens and fast connections. We concluded that they, in comparison to iRail, have a totally different focus. Both approaches are needed however and we need to cooperate on this. The NMBS however responded that their mobile website is aimed to target all phones and anyone, which we can’t agree on. Discussion still open.
The second discussion is one that we started. We are still having difficulties with Stibbe. Stibbe is a respected law firm in Belgium who apparently has been hired by the NMBS to try to close us down. They’re quite aggressive in their approach by sending scary letters that our lawyer (if you read this, thanks for your free support, we appreciate it a lot!) seems to handle a lot better than we do. They didn’t have a clue about that however. They ensured us however that they will *try* to stop these actions and let us work as we were doing. So the logical question for us is: “Can we hereby officially use your data?”; Yet this seemed to be more complicated as we thought. The real discussion had been started. Continue reading