I am well overdue to post about about this project we have been working on since the beginning of the year. We were involved in the launch of a site called InfoConnect by NZTA (previously Transit New Zealand).
This explains it best:
InfoConnect is an initiative to help ensure road users have access to timely and accurate road condition information.
InfoConnect is the destination for developers and companies wanting to access verified Highway Info data programmatically in order to fill a niche market by producing appropriate information channels for the travelling public.
Highway Info includes state highway road and traffic information, webcam coverage in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, planned road works, unplanned road closures and delays, maps, and holiday traffic information.
Essentially the goal is open up the data available within NZTA to third party developers and get them using it in a way that is going to help us all on the state highways around the country. This issue affect many New Zealanders and even something as simple as being able to check out which route to take home in rush hour is something that would be really helpful to many people. In winter, particularly in the Central North Island and South Island, this information is quite critical. Believe me I know, having driven through a blizzard just last month in Otago!
As part of the project, we have developed a couple of web apps for the iPhone to try and give other developers a taste of what is available and what they can do. We developed two applications:
This allows you to browse through the available traffic web cams and view them on your iPhone. These are static images, rather than streaming video, however, they will update automatically every 60 seconds. Handy if you are not sure which route to take to the airport or to go home. Thanks to Justin for helping me with this one and coming up with the way to do the image refresh within the limitations of the iPhone browser.
TREIS is the system where NZTA record all major road events that affect the national highways. This could include weather related issues such as snow causing a road to be closed, or scheduled events such as road works. They also issue general warnings for both the North and South Island.
As you will only be able to view these on an iPhone I have put together a movie that shows you how they work. If you do have an iPhone, please go to the above URL’s in Safari.
I’m interested in feedback, and am planning for us to build these into one integrated native iPhone application, which would be more powerful, as you could take advantage of the GPS capability. Please post your ideas and comments via this blog if you can? I am particularly interested to know if you think you would pay for this application?
If you are a developer, please check out InfoConnect and sign up so you can see what is on offer. Neither API is particularly complicated. I wrote the developer documentation, so if you have any questions or feedback on that, please let me know.