In Manchester we have been working with the linked data platform developed by Waag Society for the last year. We were given a preview of it last March where we were able to make it available to developers at the FutureEverything Festival Transport Innovation Challenge, where a number of applications started to use the linked data platform. One of those companies, FoxDog Studios have now been working with FutureEverything and Manchester City Council to set up the Manchester Endpoint for the linked data platform, and a special edition of the Open Data Manchester group took place showcasing the launch to a range of local developers.
Our reason for developing a Manchester specific endpoint came out of understanding the potential of the platform developed by Waag to be at the centre of our open data activities, and with FutureEverything being an independent innovation organisation, working closely with the city, the opportunity to provide some sustainability for the platform in a neutral space, would enable the city to concentrate on releasing data, and for the development of the use of the platform in Manchester to be more user-focussed. We had already seen an “endpoint” developed in Istanbul, and the planned “discovery” service for the CitySDK enables a loose ecosystem of local hubs. From the city’s point of view it also enables us to use the endpoint for the ten local authorities in Greater Manchester, rather than just area covered by Manchester City Council, providing good replication experience.
At the demonstration we wanted to show the API in use so FoxDog Studios had developed a map viewer and sample application using some of the live train times data that can be accessed via the API.
The train application allows you to see what trains are going through which stations in Greater Manchester (e.g. type in Manchester Oxford Road or Manchester Piccadilly).
The Open Data Manchester group were able to see the API in action, working with the real time train data that is now in the API, alongside other datasets. Over the coming months we’ll be extending the data available via the Manchester Endpoint and look forward to seeing more applications and services that use it to develop new ideas for the city. For more information contact Julian Tait at FutureEverything.