Roadify: Using data to empower people on-the-go
In this dense, bustling city, people depend on mass transit every day, sometimes in different modes, and often multiple times daily.
As part of the one-year anniversary of the NYC Open Data Law – Local Law 11 of 2012 – we’re profiling users of NYC Open Data. Our first profile looks at Roadify, a data platform and free iPhone application connecting users with real-time transit info and updates.
Roadify was the Grand Prize winner in the NYC BigApps 2.0 competition in 2010, and alerts users to the latest subway, bus, or driving conditions by using official transit data and real-time updates from commuters. They help answer a basic, vital question posed by millions of commuters daily: “When is my bus/train/subway, etc. coming? And if it’s late, why?”
Roadify gathers open transit data (including Staten Island Ferry and MTA data) from more than 60 transit agency sources across the United States and Canada, as well as from riders via Twitter and the Smartphone app. This data is:
Official structured transit agency data is typically in the Google GTFS (General Transit Feed Specification) format for schedules and real-time arrival information, while unstructured service advisories can be in XML or RSS feeds or via Twitter. Roadify also monitors Twitter to curate comments from riders and agencies about specific transit systems and individual lines, along with user comments provided via the Roadify iPhone app.
Roadify aggregates this information on its own platform and packages the content for hyper-local, real-time distribution to customers via XML feed. Roadify’s digital signage customers can opt to design their own displays for the data feed or use a localized Flash or HTML display in broadcast-ready or interactive mode. Roadify provides transit information on large screens at locations other than transit stations – including Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, “City 24x7” kiosks and the Philadelphia Convention Center.
“All this complexity under the hood is about making it easy for riders to find out what’s going on,” said Roadify CEO Scott Kolber. “If people know when their ride is coming, they’re more likely to use mass transit – and that’s good for riders and cities.”
NYC BigApps 2013 Kicks Off at the New York Tech Meetup
The forth annual NYC BigApps competition launched tonight at the New York Tech Meetup. The annual contest encourages software developers and members of the public to create web or mobile applications using official City data.
More than 1,000 data sets are available on the City’s Open Data portal from 60+ City agencies, commissions, and Business Improvements Districts.
Winning applications will receive cash prizes totaling $150,000 and the opportunity to earn follow-on funding for future app improvements. Over the course of the previous 3 competitions, nearly 240 new apps were created.
This year’s contest focuses on working together to solve specific New York City challenges, known as BigIssues (Jobs and Workforce Mobility, Healthy Living, Lifelong Learning, and Cleanweb: Energy, Environment, and Resilience). The best app in each of the 4 focus areas will win a substantial prize, and be eligible for the NYC BigApps 2013 Grand Prize.
The 2013 judging panel includes:
- Dawn Barber Co-founder, New York Tech Meetup;
- John Borthwick CEO, Betaworks;
- Arianna Huffington, Chair, President, and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group;
- Lawrence Lenihan Founder, CEO and Managing Director, FirstMark Capital;
- Ann Li, Managing Director, Center for Economic Transformation, New York City Economic Development Corporation;
- Rahul Merchant, New York City Chief Information & Innovation Officer and Commissioner, NYC DoITT;
- Ulrich Quay, Managing Director of BMW iVentures;
- Danny Schultz Co-founder & Managing Director, DFJ Gotham Ventures;
- David Tisch Managing Partner, BoxGroup; and
- Fred Wilson, Managing Director, Union Square Ventures.
Entries are due by 5pm on June 7th, 2013.
Learn more: www.NYCBigApps.com
Colorful snapshot of New York City’s Twitter languages. This visualization highlights 8.5 million geo-located tweets collected between Jan 2010 and Feb 2013. Read more: http://spatialanalysis.co.uk/2013/02/mapped-twitter-languages-york/
What do 1,551,402 service requests look like? Check out a visualization of NYC 311 requests (received via phone, text, online) in 2012.
The NYC 311 dataset is available at NYC Open Data - www.nyc.gov/data
Interested in the future of NYC’s public payphones? Check out this animation highlighting their locations across the five boroughs. Imagine how this vast network could be used to boost access and connectivity!
To learn more about Reinvent Payphones, NYC’s payphone design challenge, visit and register: nyc.gov/reinventpayphones
Many thanks to Chris!
Check out this video of a visualization of NYC’s transit system which was compiled through General Transit Feed Specification data and illustrates a day — from 4 A.M. to 4 A.M. — of transit operations.
Moneyball for New York City
Michael Flowers, Analytics Director for the Mayor’s Office of Policy and Strategic Planning and Director of the Financial Crime Task Force of the City of New York, shares how data science has played a surprising and effective role in helping city government provide services to over 8 million people, from preventing public safety catastrophes to improving New Yorkers’ quality of life.
Playbook for Gathering, Structuring & Automating Public Data
Last month, we published the Open Data Policy & Technical Standards Manual (TSM), an open data guide for New York City agencies. This publication marks a major milestone in New York City’s open government strategy and the first step for opening all of the City’s data by 2018.