Real-time transit updates in Google Maps

Google Maps today added real-time transit information — not just scheduling data — to its mobile and desktop offerings in two European and four U.S. cities: Madrid, Turin, Boston, San Diego, San Francisco and Portland, Ore.

The move cements the Rose City’s status as a favored testing ground for new Google products — the new Peoria, as we called it when the company started testing its Google Offers service there last week. Google says it’s working to roll out the real-time transit info to other cities in the future.

But the Seattle region already does have a strong set of real-time transit applications in the form of the OneBusAway project.

Interestingly, the University of Washington computer science grad student who has been heading that project, Brian Ferris, recently graduated and was slated to work in Zurich for Google. In going to Google, Ferris hoped he would be to help launch similar real-time transit services around the world, according to a Seattle Times profile last month.

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  • Sunil Garg

    I’m guessing this has less to do with Google’s favoritism than the fact that Tri-Met has historically been far more proactive and cooperative on open data efforts than Metro and Sound Transit.

  • Brian Ferris

    There is still a lot of work to be done ; )

    • Anonymous

      No doubt. :) Congrats on the new gig, Brian. Keep us posted.

  • Stephanos Anton Ballmerfeld

    Seattle is still better!

  • K3

    That’s probably because Seattle buses still don’t have accurate position tracking – no GPS, just transponders that are supposed to fire when buses pass each stop. The system gets easily confused, though, which makes continuous plots of buses on a map nearly impossible.

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