You wait ages for a decent bus map...

New websites are making it easier to plan your bus journey online

Data about public services such as mapping or public transport - with a handful of exceptions - remains locked up in our government departments and local authorities. But some of that data is starting to seep out, and it can be very, very useful. Many people are already aware of how Public Whip managed to "scrape" the online version of Hansard and turn it into something actually useable. But the fight goes on.

Take for instance this, from Surrey County Council. What you will see is a pretty terrible interface to bus timetable information. I mean who ever understood how to "enter a stop reference number"?

It's great they have all this live data about buses, but the presentation is terrible.

So along comes Livebus.org, which has taken that data and'mashed' it up with a map from Google. The result is an incredibly good interface which makes sense of the information. And they are nominated for a NMA award.

The one drawback is that I am unlikely to be able to flip out my laptop at the bus-stop to check when the bus is arriving, but it would be useful if I was about to set off from home or work. Roll on mobiles with a big enough screen and enough power to display this rich information.

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