Thursday, April 26, 2012

Freiburg's Buses Live on Google Maps


Stadtbahn Tracker Freiburg is the second live transit tracking map featured on Google Maps Mania this week (the first was MTA Bus Time). In fact live real-time tracking maps have become so common that it is easy to became rather blasé about them and forget just how amazing it is to track in real-time whole transit networks on a Google Map.

Stadtbahn Tracker Freiburg is a live map of of all tram cabs, buses and local trains in Freiburg, Germany. The developer of this map has taken a novel approach to how he fetches the real-time data of the vehicles. The map loads all departure/arrival times in advance during startup. These times are then updated every 5-10 minutes or so. The calculation of the exact vehicle positions is therefore completed on the client side by JavaScript.

Another interesting feature of this map is that you can query the map by time. For example, you can view the city's transit network during the morning rush hour by attaching a time stamp to the URL, for example http://tracker.patrickbrosi.de/freiburg/?time=1335419192000
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