This weekend was National Day of Civic Hacking. An incredibly well organized, distributed and disconnected network of events across the country where people came together to build tools and policies to make their communities better.
I love this type of work. It's the inspiration behind SMSMyBus, the underlying API that powers 40+ transit applications, and our local civic hacking organization, HackingMadison.
Although we didn't get an event organized for Madison, I wanted to contribute something. I had a few hours each morning this weekend to mash my keyboard on a project so I picked something small. There has always been a lot of interest around the data in the transit API so I decided to expose some of it by visualizing the API requests in real-time.
The browser app displays a Google Map and drops red circles on the bus stop locations as API requests come in for those stops. Fun. Simple. Transparent.