Wednesday, September 13, 2006

University of Michigan Magic Bus Google Maps Mashup

Back in February '06 I stumbled upon a page deep within The College of Engineering website at the University of Michigan. Intrigued by what I found, I posted about it. Live bus tracking, icons moving in real time.. This was cool stuff! Kyle Mulka, a member of that same project team was surprised that I found it and, surprised I had found the page mentioned it wasn't yet public (see comments in above linked post) and said that it would could possibly be taken down... It was.

Kyle stopped by that same post last week to post a short follow on to his comment: "The Magic Bus is here..." Here is more about the University of Michigan Magic Bus Project from the website: "The Magic Bus project was started in 2004 as an effort to improve the experience of University bus passengers by enabling them to see where buses are and when they can be expected at bus stops. A student-run project, Magic Bus is a joint effort, funded by the U of M Parking & Transportation Services and implemented by the College of Engineering's Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Science Department."

A key part of the Magic Bus project is a Google Map of each of the lines, routes and stops. Realtime bus departure and arrival times and status gets displayed as you view the map, handy for referencing before leaving your house, dorm or class from your laptop. Mobile features include an AOL Instant Messenger Bot which allows users to access the data not only from a computer, but also from a mobile phone. There is even a raw XML feed for all the data in the app so it can be mashed up into other applications (Google Homepage Gadgets and Apple Dashboard Widgets are given as possibilities). Yet another fantastic realtime transit mashup!

More Google Maps Campus Maps:
Arizona State University Campus Map
Stanford Campus Google Map
Tufts University Campus Compass
Ryerson Campus Map
Off-Campus Housing Maps
eBay Bargains near US College Campuses
College Toolkit Google Maps "Hangouts"
U of Waterloo & Laurier Housing (Canada)
Faculté Polytechnique de Mons (Belguim)

More Kyle Mulka Maps:
Liquor Stores near Seattle
Google Maps Overview
More of his projects
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