Posted tagged ‘iPhone’

– Public Transit Apps

August 23, 2009

Applications to Help You Navigate Your Public Transit System

By Rafe Needleman


Google is the most aggressive company in the transit planning business. If you ask Google Maps for directions, by default it will route you by car, but you can also ask it to give you directions for travel on foot or by public transit. In many metro areas, it will even direct you among different transit systems (from a local bus line to a commuter rail system, for example). Google Maps has transit data for 400 cities, many of them outside the U.S.

Google Maps has some tricks up its sleeves, as well. For example, if you click on an icon for a train station, Maps will highlight the train lines running through it.

To get the data that powers the transit routing, Google has also been instrumental in the

creation of a standard that transit agencies can use to share information. However, the only data that Google Maps can use today is schedule data. Google doesn’t know where trains and buses actually are, and thus can’t tell you when you need to really get to the station to catch your transit vehicle – only when you should if the system you’re riding respects its timetables. As city dwellers know, on many metro transit systems, timetables are pure fiction.


NY Transportation Authority attempts to stop iPhone app

August 20, 2009

Written by Dana Oshiro / August 20, 2009

iPhone_AppsNew York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has sent a take down notice to Greenwich man Chris Schoenfeld for using Metropolitan Transportation Authority schedules to power his StationStops iPhone application. The popular blogger created an $2.99 application that gives commuters access to MTA train and bus schedules. He received a DMCA last Friday to remove the application from the app store The MTA claims that its scheduling information is copyrighted intellectual property. You read that right. Public train schedules are being treated as copyrighted material.

In an interview with the Stamford Advocate Schoenfeld said, “The copyright law is very clear that you cannot copyright facts and tables of data. A train schedule itself might be considered intellectual property, but the data itself has nothing artistic about it.” Schoenfeld believes the DMCA came as a result of him delaying licensing negotiations. The blogger was expected to pay the MTA 10% of his app profits and $5000 in advance royalties.