I thought I'd shoot out an email about the bus tracking project idea that's been
floating around for a while so that we can really get started.
To make sure everyone's on the same page and let people who haven't been in the
loop catch up, here's the gist of it:
Purpose: Let people track the UVM buses so they can tell where they are, and how
long it will be until the next bus comes.
Parts of the project:
1. Getting map data
2. Getting bus route data
3. Making user interface(s)
4. Pulling in location data
6. ??? -- anything else?
II. Location data collection
1. Deciding what kind of sensors to use
2. Getting sensors
3. Getting sensors on buses
4. ??? -- mek knows more about this side than me...
1. Putting up screens to display info at bus stops?
We've done some talking about this, but have no firm decisions (or work) so far.
Some of our thoughts:
* Location data could be gotten through consumer GPS tracking devices. The cost
to consumers seems to be in the several hundred dollars per device range. Could
this be cheaper? Are there better solutions? mek is making contacts in this area.
* Map data could probably be pulled from OpenStreetMap. We might want to add
building data to this, which shouldn't be hard.
* We definitely need a web interface. It should, of course, be coded so that any
other interface can access the data just as the web interface does. Someone may
want to make, e.g., a mobile phone interface.
* The interface work can be done before the sensors are in place by setting up a
fake data source. It probably should be done this way, because if we can present
the interface and say "We just need sensors for the data", we can probably get
funding for the sensors.
Any other thoughts? Anyone interested in taking on particular parts of the project?