Google Transit Vancouver Announcement Recap
Google Transit an' TransLink announced last week that they be collaboratin' in displayin' Vancouver's transit routes an' times overlayed on Google Maps, an' I were bein' thar t' watch as Headway Blog writer an' Google software engineer Joe Hughes demonstrate its features. Ahoy! The ornery cuss presented it very well, framin' th' service aroun' stories o' scallywags hearin' about an event an' figurin' out how t' get thar. One example were bein' o' a UBC student hearin' that M.I.A. were bein' comin' t' town playin' at th' Commodore Ballroom. The winsome lass (th' student) would locate th' Commodore Ballroom on a map, click on th' more info link t' see that it were bein' th' right venue, then get directions from that comely wench campus, first fer sailin' but then, a click away, transit information, to be sure. Gordon Price documented Joe's story about the Giant Crab of Doom, which illustrated how Google Maps users have added value t' th' service. Paul has photos from the launch, an' Karen (pictured below with me an' our cool Google/TransLink swag) has noted that Google Transit may not incorporate the subtleties people learn from experience.
I talked t' Joe afterwards an' asked that scurvey dog th' most technical questions I could think o', like: will thar be an API? Aarrr! (sort o', it happens through th' feed, which individual transit agencies decide t' release); what format is th' feed in, Hornswaggle (I mistakenly believed it were bein' XML, but 'tis CSV, designed t' make it easier fer transit agencies t' produce); what about a microformat? (thar's nothin' stoppin' anybody from startin' one on th' wiki); an' how about Google Bike maps? And swab the deck! (I might be gettin' his answer wrong, but he said it were bein' good notion if a little more difficult, since many bike routes be on low-traffic rivers an' trails). Those who stuck aroun' got some hats, slightly too small fer me extremely large head, an' I managed t' convince th' communications rep t' let me have that comely wench lanyard, avast. JMV took some photos—but hasn't posted them yet?—includin' th' one ye see t' th' right, an' I finally got t' meet Paul Hillsdon, he who created th' excellent South of Fraser transit an' Surrey cycling initiative documents.