Teenagers build really useful apps with GMPTE data

Two teenagers have created a couple of really useful web services for Manchester bus users.

GMPTE recently released Greater Manchester’s bus timetable data to be used by web and software developers. The first apps to emerge are part of the Young Rewired State programme, which has seen teenagers around the country use government data to solve problems that interest or irritate them.

The first of the two services built by Ben Webb and Josh Pickett is a map showing where all the buses in Greater Manchester should be according to their timetables. Keep watching and it updates every few seconds. If you hover your mouse over each bus it will tell you which service it is.

Although a real-time map would be more useful, this data is held by bus operators and they’re not sharing (yet). For now this is the best we’ll get. If nothing else it’s a fun toy to watch as the vehicle move around.

The other app is where things get real useful. Designed for mobile phone web browsers, the Bus Times web app let’s you see when the next bus on the route you’re interested in is due at your stop. Just select the route and the stop and you get a list of times. Simple!

It’s not quite perfect yet. It only supports one route per number (enter ’41’ and you’ll get the Ashton-under-Lyne route with no option to select the Manchester-Sale-Altrincham route with the same number, for example) but it won ‘Most Likely to be Bought’ at the Young Rewired State ceremony in London yesterday so hopefully Ben and Josh will continue to develop it.

Bear in mind both apps were built in just two days, but go ahead and give them a go. Hopefully we’ll see more like this from developers as they get to grips with the GMPTE data.

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About Martin Bryant

Digital content person about town.
This entry was posted in Buses, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Teenagers build really useful apps with GMPTE data

  1. Pingback: Find your next Manchester bus using your phone’s camera | Manchester Transport

  2. Rob says:

    The map is a nice idea, but sadly doesn’t have any practical use. You hover over a service e.g. 263, but it doesn’t say where the bus is going to!

    Also, would be a nice idea to to be able to click on a bus stop and know that for example the next 263 at Stretford Arndale in 6 minutes.

    I wonder how the data will be updated when services change?

    I’m not technologically minded enough to know where to begin to build something like this though!!

    • Martin Bryant says:

      Hi Rob, the data is updated by GMPTE every week so should always be up to date. Yes, the map does need some work but it’s an impressive first draft!

  3. Pingback: Manchester bus times Android app now available | Manchester Transport

  4. Jonny Entwistle says:

    The Bus Times Web App is incredible and should be publicised more

    Really really useful (and it not covers more that one route per number)

  5. Ive heard about this on the news, it sounds very good, credit to the lads for creating this, it probably was quite challenging at times!

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