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3 Posts

Posted - April 18 2011 :  7:09:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

i've revived the old thebus.ws website as http://thebus.dyndns.org. it still allows users to find their location and bus stop using a cell phone's GPS, which i think is a great feature. i also added some new things. you can now show all bus stops for a bus route, and filter a group of bus routes for the bus stop list.

i don't know how far i'll take this, since google transit also has a lot of nice features, but feel free to make suggestions.


new enhancements:

4/18/11 - added route info button on homepage. the original route searching was not working correctly, it only finds stops. for myself, i can remember a route number but not street names and such. this process seems much more intuitive. also added a link to HEA's website to help remember your route number (or letter). once you put it in, it takes you to a list of stops which (should) be in sequential order. if you have a general idea of what streets to look for, finding a stop ID is easy and you can enter it into the search field.

4/15/11 - filter by bus route, in text box on bus stop info page. for example if you catch the Hawaii Kai to Downtown express buses every day, you might filter "80, 80b, 82". Then you can bookmark the page. like http://thebus.dyndns.org/s:834/?query=80%2C+80b%2C+82 , and check the link to see if your bus is arriving on Bishop Street.


4 Posts

Posted - May 08 2011 :  8:39:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Is there an API for this site or the original site? I am interested in creating a Chumby widget. I think data in XML works best because Chumby widgets are coded in Adobe Flash Actionscript. Scraping HTML does not look easy and will be fragile.
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2 Posts

Posted - May 12 2011 :  3:37:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow, I was <i>just</i> about to start developing the WhaleSalad version when I randomly checked back here and found your version. Very nice! If you'd like any help developing/maintaining, let me know: clay at claymckell /dot/ com.

I don't know how much traffic you're getting, but maybe asking WhaleSalad to point to the new URL would help.

Also, you might want to note on the GitHub site that you've branched and released your own (I'd even like to see your version on github), unless of course you're gonna privatize the whole shebang.

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3 Posts

Posted - May 15 2011 :  5:58:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
the chumby widget stuff looks interesting. well, from what i hear there is an API, but i don't have it. you'd have to ask Whalen about that. my setup is a bit different from his also. basically i just used what he made available, as a way to learn more about django and postgre.

i should also add, i found out my stops list only shows stops in one direction. that is, it doesn't show stops on the other side of the road. you can still use the "nearby stops button" to find the other side, but it's not as intuitive. i could list stops for both directions, but that would make some very long lists... so i haven't decided what a good solution for that is yet.

no plans to privatize, no idea how much traffic it gets. it's just there for anyone who wants to use it. ^_^

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4 Posts

Posted - May 18 2011 :  07:37:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The first draft of a Chumby app is up on chumby.com. Search for "thebus".

The app displays the same information as the web page at http://hea.thebus.org.

This is just an experiment not supported by anyone but me. If anyone at OTS objects, I will remove it.

Edited by - mmauka on May 19 2011 1:27:53 PM
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4 Posts

Posted - June 02 2011 :  07:01:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ryan -

Nice work with continuing M. Whalen's work. I've also been looking into the bus data pretty extensively and slowly building out features for how I use The Bus at http://allb.us :)

With that said, what I was trying to do was be able to sit down with the developer of the API and the data to get a further clarification of what the data is really saying - but unfortunately, all my attempts to reach out to them have been futile. I think what we have to be careful of is the interpretation of the data and more importantly - displaying incorrect/incomplete data to the end user. I'm a little surprised at The Bus' unwillingness to reach out to the developer community since these apps all affect the usage of The Bus - which ultimately hurts their brand.

Here's what I mean by clarification of the data:

When I go to your site/data and search for route 9 at:


You'll notice that you don't bring up stop 3370.

If you look at their API call which I proxy (http://allb.us/3370) and Whalen's implementation crawling HEA, you'll find that http://thebus.dyndns.org/s:3370/ does actually serve route 9.

I found a number of these quirks looking through the google_transit.zip data that TheBus actually provides here:


It's not entirely clear (to me at least) as to how all the routes -> trips -> stops since it appears that depending on the trip (and thus the headsign), the bus will stop at different stops. I am fairly certain that if The Bus just provided the trip_id that the current bus was participating in, we could say for a particular bus (and generate) the route that the bus would take.



Edited by - ryankanno on June 02 2011 07:35:46 AM
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3 Posts

Posted - June 02 2011 :  5:05:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
ahh yea that's a problem... ignoring the fact that my list is only going in 1 direction (i'm really just taking the first instance of the route that comes up), they have some altered routes. it would make for a long and confusing list! "route 9" actually consists of:
route 9 east
route 9 west
route 9 navy supply turnback east
route 9 navy supply turnback west
route 9 landing C turnback east
route 9 landing C turnback west

for the database maybe they should have seperated it better like route 1 and route 1L, where the L is limited stops. but then you'd have to remember more route names like 9NST and 9LCT...

i agree the way the tables are connected is a bit odd. i had to generate my list in kind of a roundabout way.

as for reaching out to the developer well, i haven't tried, but i used to work for the state and that's how things are sometimes. the original developer might not even be there anymore.

mmauka nice work on the chumby app, looks pretty cool.

-the other ryan
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4 Posts

Posted - June 03 2011 :  3:46:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by kife
mmauka nice work on the chumby app, looks pretty cool.

Thanks! The app scrapes HTML from hea.thebus.org so it is much simpler than what you guys are doing.

ryank: Thanks for the link to google_transit.zip. I was wondering how to get a list of stops with lat/long. I might experiment with mapping APIs to make it easier to select a stop.

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