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Opinion piece on public transportation data in Dutch newspaper NRC.next

Posted: October 28th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Publications | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Yesterday Dutch daily newspaper NRC.next published an opinion piece I’d written for them concerning Dutch public transportation information. Alexander Klöpping had written a piece before and mine was to be a more specific follow-up on a certain kind of information: transit.

The situation is that Dutch transit information is controlled by a single private entity who are not sharing any of their data. The Dutch government plans to write a tender for a public data warehouse (to be called: NDOV) to be built with all transit information in it. Now this is both a threat for the private institution currently exploiting the data and an opportunity for the Netherlands to make a —much needed— jump forward in the realm of transit information. Which makes this an interesting turning point.

After making the altogether clear and well-known argument for open transit data, I propose three hard requirements such a data warehouse should fulfill. Here in English:

  1. All public transit data: journey plans, live locations, departure times and (un)planned mutations in the NDOV have to be readable both for humans on a website and for computers via an API.
  2. All this data has to be freely accessible to everybody without limitations.
  3. There always has to be a high quality journey planner but others have to be allowed to build their own or build on top of it.

Doesn’t sound too unreasonable, does it?

Full text in Dutch on Alper’s personal weblog for those interested.



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