Organizing the World’s Transit

Google describes its mission as “organizing the world’s information”. Friday, at the Transit track of GOSCON, Google discussed its plans for Google Transit with the assembled participants.

Ultimately, Google intends for the transit planner to be part of its overall multi-modal trip planner (as in get from any point A on the globe to any point B – I hate the way they think small). In the nearer term we’ll see improvements like a better walking trip algorithm (to get you to the bus).

Interestingly, one of the thorny issues in trip planners has been to get transit agencies to agree on a common data model. It appears to me that Google’s entry into the field will prove catalytic, and their transit feed data specification will rapidly become a defacto standard. It’s relatively simple right now, but will become more robust over time as features are added.

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