Saturday, September 10, 2011

Madison Transit API snags a giant new user

Over a year ago, I smiled when I found SMSMyBus getting repurposed in the form of a kiosk at the Mother Fool's Coffeehouse.  I wrote then about the personal satisfaction of seeing a pet project growing into something bigger.

Well, last week, that satisfaction blossomed into gratification when I learned that the University of Wisconsin had included the SMSMyBus API in the latest version of their app released for the 2011 academic year. Now students using the app can get real time bus arrival estimates throughout the city rather than relying on the fixed schedule right from their iPhone and Android devices.

Super proud.

Mostly because this is exactly the kind of application that can get the attention of the Metro and the City of Madison as an example of what can be accomplished if more public data becomes accessible in an easy to consume (programmable APIs) interface.

Dear Mayor, please take note. We can achieve more, do so at a lower cost, and generate more economic development if we work together.


  1. Curious, what would be the next feed that you would like the city to release?

  2. Opening up better access to 311 data would be a good start. But I'd also like better access to real estate and tax information, and operational data for trash pickup and street cleaning.