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Launching the Linked Open Transport vocabularies

Pieter Colpaert - October 23, 2014 in featured, News

How far do you live from work?

Did you answer this question in minutes or in kilometers? Many answer this in minutes. Now, imagine how machines would have to get to know the answer to such question for you: it would need a lot of data.

That data is in some cases, e.g., for Amsterdam, already sufficiently available as open data: open street map and the openOV initiative in The Netherlands help. Yet, to achieve this system, we need to do a huge job in integrating data and integrate these datasets on 1 machine. What if we can advance on the state of the art and use Semantic Web/Linked Data technologies to facilitate all this?

This is what I need for my PhD as well. So, we have started creating 4 vocabularies: one for transit feeds or timeschedules, one for categorizing transport datasets, one for road traffic events and one for real-time arrivals and departures of public transport.

One of these vocabularies has now been released: – the Linked GTFS vocabulary. You can help out building these vocabularies at our github repository, or you can just dig in and start using our terms. You can now browse this at our Linked Open Vocabularies project:

Open Transport: 4 focuses

Pieter Colpaert - March 18, 2014 in featured

During the OKFN meetup in Athens, Greece, I gave a presentation on the 4 focuses for the Open Transport working group. It is at the same time an open call to collaborate with us in various projects. Everyone needs the 4 focus points described in the presentation. The Open Transport working group aims to bring together everyone who needs this.

Open Knowledge Foundation Austria MeetUp on Open Transport Data took place on 14.11.2013 in Vienna

Martin Kaltenböck - December 2, 2013 in Events, featured, opinion

About 2 weeks ago, on the 14th of November 2013 an Open Knowledge Foundation Austria (OKF-AT) MeetUp took place in the late afternoon with the title & topic: Open Transport (Data). The MeetUp was hosted at Fabasoft (one of the bigger Austrian IT vendors) in Vienna, Austria. The idea of this event was to present and discuss the current status of transport information systems in Austria and Open Data / Open Transport as well as to discuss how these sector can become more open and take a look into planned future steps of open transport in Austria.
FOTO: Copyrights: Fabasoft AG; Fotograf: Peter Ehringer
After a short introduction by Helmuth Bronnenmayer (Board Member of OKF-AT) telling the ~ 35 people of the audience about objectives and activities of the Austrian chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation (see slides: the topic of the MeetUp was introduced by Peter Parycek (Danube University Krems) and Robert Harm (open3) by giving an insight in the area of Open Transport in the MeetUp keynote – see: Peter introduced the idea of open transport (data) and showcased the importance to open up transport data to (beside others) enable cross-border mobility services and apps. He also introduced the ODP AT – the Open Data Portal Austria project that develops an open data portal for all data – beside government data – in Austria (science, education, industry, NGO & NPO, citizens, OpenGLAM, et al) that will be launched in May / June 2014.

Short history of routes computation

Tristram Gräbener - September 23, 2013 in featured, overview


This is a cross-post from

I wrote a blog post in French that had some unexpected success (by success I mean that people actually read it). At least two people asked for an English translation. So here it goes, with some of the errors of the French version corrected.

Formally we would speak of “shortest path in a graph problem”. The goal is the same: what is the shortest way to go from A to B.

Route computation are nice as the actual use cases can be explained to anyone:

  • the GPS end user
  • the computer science student that at some point learnt the basic algorithms
  • there is still research going on, but it can be explained to anyone interested within a few pints

Personally, what I find interesting is how those algorithms evolved through time. Sorry for punctual technical details.

Read the rest of this entry →

One year and one day at the Open Transport WG

Pieter Colpaert - September 21, 2013 in featured, News

It’s the 18th of September and 40 open transport experts gather in a small room in a conference center in Geneva (Switzerland). It’s precisely 1 year and 1 day ago that we were gathered in Helsinki to write the Open Transport Data Manifest. In meantime, this manifest has been used in the Italian Parliament, has been presented at several Open Data conferences and has been used to convince smaller transport agencies that this is the right way forward.

This one year has been a quest for problems and potential solutions. During the next year we will focus on a couple of projects we have identified as being the next steps. How we got there will be posted in a couple of blog posts during the next weeks.

Tristram at OKCon

What’s next?


Join us at OKCon

Pieter Colpaert - September 13, 2013 in Events, featured

Next week it’s OKCon! *cheers*

When you check out the program you can see that there are a lot of Open Transport sessions happening. You’re of course most welcome to join in!

On Wednesday between 14:45 and 16:00, we are organising a workshop with various people from our community giving a short lightning talk, but mainly with a discussion on what our future vision should be. This is the program of this workshop:

14:45 Warm word of welcome by Chloé Bonnet
What happened in 2012 and The Open Transport Data manifest by Pieter Colpaert
15:00: 3 lightning talks on “Making Data Available”

  • Tristram Gräbener: & crowdsourcing data

  • Joost Cassee: Creating an open transport data portal

  • Christian Helbling: publicly owned transport companies should have to open up their data by law

15:15 Questions for the 3 talks moderated by Chloé and Pieter
15:30 Plenary discussionWhat tools do we need to make this happen. What extra features can we imagine?

Moderated by Chloé and Pieter

15:50 Future Work

2 lightning talks on “Raising the user experience of being on the road”:

  • Roman Prokofyev: Collecting user history, creating user profiles

  • Chaohai Ding (Skype): Mash up transport data with other datasets to determine accessibility of the location/vehicle

16:00 Thank you and what’s next (bis)

Apps and the City: Berlin Transport Hack Day

Stefan Wehrmeyer - December 6, 2012 in Events, featured, News

Just a short note about the Transport Hack Day [Open Knowledge Foundation Germany]( just ran last week.

We ran the event together with the local transport provider, the Berlin government and the FH Potsdam.
The VBB released GTFS data, opened up their API and provided some geo datasets about entrances to stations.

We had over 120 people registered, lots of them were developers/designers and we had a really inspired atmosphere.
The output in numbers of apps was not as great as we would have liked due to broken datasets and the complicated API, but I think we will see some nice apps in the coming months.

* Website:
* Data:
* Source:

Fork the Open Transport Data manifest

Pieter Colpaert - November 10, 2012 in featured, Uncategorized

Transportation is a major contemporary issue, which has a direct impact on economic strength, environmental sustainability, and social equity. Accordingly, transport data – largely produced and/or gathered by public sector organisations or semi-private entities, quite often decentrally – represents one of the most valuable sources of (Public Sector) Information (PSI, also called ‘Open Data’), a key policy area for many, including the European Commission.

This is the first paragraph of the Open Transport Data Manifest. During the OKFestival in Helsinki, we organised a PSI sectoral meeting on transport data. The manifest is a summary of the entire day, where all kind of stakeholders from over 15 different countries were invited to help think about informing European travelers as good as possible.

The first slide of the manifest. More on github

The manifesto document was then transformed into an infographic by Miet Claes and Michael Vanderpoorten (both members of iRail). The infographic is also available in slides style. Because we want everyone to be able to help with the manifest, and to reuse this work, we have published the source files on github. We invite you to fork the infographic and use it for your own slides on open transport.

Help sending this infographic to the policy makers who need to see it and let us know on the mailing list.