I spent most of my holiday break relaxing and catching up on little projects around the house. I did manage to get some time together to build a service that I have wanted for awhile.
As many of you know, I wrote a little iGoogle gadget to display the current status of the London Underground network (the Tube). It worked well, but relied on a backend that I didn't have any administrative control over. So, when the TFL changed their page layout, which they seem to do a couple of times a year, it took awhile to get things fixed.
The last time this happened, I dropped an email to Malcolm Barclay (author of the great iPhone TubeStatus app) and asked him if he would like to collaborate on this problem. He agreed, and we were off.
I put together a source code repository and a site at www.severedelays.org. The API is still a little new, but I've been running my iGoogle gadget on it for about a week now with no serious trouble. It's pretty easy to use and I provide data in two formats XML and JSON.
To make a request you fetch the following url:
This will give you an XML formatted doc with all of our most recent information (right now that is just tube lines, but more is coming). If you prefer JSON then change the format to json.
The next release, which will probably come out in a week or so, will include information for tube, dlr, and London Overground, as well as the messages for each station. There will be an API for getting at particular pieces of data (/uk-lon/lines/current or /uk-lon/stations/current).
You might ask why I've got the uk-lon identifier in the URL. That is where you come in. Do you want to include data from your own network? I would love to hear from you. It would be great to get information from any and all mass transit networks, and even road congestion data too.
This service runs on top of Google's App Engine. I hope you find this useful, and please drop me a line if you have any questions.