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When's the bus gonna get here?

This is one of the most useful things on the web I've ever seen: NextBus Stop Selector. I can't believe I hadn't discovered it before!

It gives the real time for the next expected bus/train at any given stop in San Francisco. If you've ever depended on Muni to get around the city, you'll know that there can be quite a difference between what the official schedule says and what the real-time schedule is.

The live map shows the location of busses in real-time with a Java applet. I got a geeky thrill watching the J-Church line make it's way down Church Street.


Been looking for a real-world application I could develop with Flash Com and now I have it. I think I will have to do something like the map and see if I can get some interest with our local transit authorities.

psst... anyone know a way to access the video cameras now installed on each bus...? ;-)

I hadn't known that they had increased their tracking, along both services and even regions... cool. It's getting easier and easier and cheaper and cheaper to do remote sensing and serverside analysis, and I'm convinced we'll see a lot more of this type of work during the next five years.

As cool as this is, though, it's just the first step along this path. I'm about an 8-minute walk from an N-Judah stop, but that could range from 6-10 minutes depending on circumstances and pace, and it can take me awhile to shut down the computer and get out the door too. They're already offering displays on various pocket devices, but eventually I'd like my choice of interface on my single pocket device for a wide range of services I find of value... for instance, a single display comparing arrival times for the N-Judah, 6-Parnassus and 33-Ashbury, each with bus time and subsequent walking time to 600 Townsend, sorted in a list with earliest arrival time and degree of risk. The interfaces and feature sets would be driven by demand rather than supply, which is why I think clientside SWF processing of remote services on pocket devices is such a hot, hot, hot potential....

... oh, shucks, I was ranting so hard I missed the bus and have to catch the next one now.... ;-)



Yeah, when I see stuff like this, I can't help but get excited about its potential. Flash would just be fantastic on the client for this kind of application. Even on the aesthetic side. Notice how patchy the redraw is on the Java map when changing zoom. A Flash vector map would be so smooth.