Over the past months we’ve made a significant investment in the Graphserver project and we’re thrilled to announce we’ve reached a major milestone. Sure, it’s self-serving, but not in a selfish way. At UMI, we focus on our strengths–normalizing, maintaining and distributing high value data sets. We develop applications insofar as they help to deliver/serve data, but as for writing software–yuck–issues abound. But offering transit data without the ability to perform routing? That’s a bad idea! So we pursued a FOSS path. The community can do a better job with software, and now that we’ve made the engine scale, resource-efficient and oh so robust, it’s in a very good place for commercial (or other) use. And that’s exactly what we’re prepared to do (that news coming another day).
In GPS (aka, PND, PNAV, nav, turn-by-turn) land, multimodal is perceived as a holy grail–permitting a user to route in any combination of transit (bus/train) drive and walk opens up new opportunities for mobile devices–smartphones, GPS devices, ultra-portable laptops and other emerging categories. By ensuring the data is accurate, hardware manufacturers, publishers, hackers and anybody else can ‘give it a go.’ Oh, and with (sometimes) freely-available GTFS transit data, you can run your own instance of graphserver and not even be concerned if/when Google will release an API for Transit!
[Note: Of the 70 or so systems for which Google receives data from transit agencies, only 18 make it publically-available. Some parties go far out of their way to obtain this data and make it available to the public.]