Here is gTraffic application modified to take NYSDOT traffic RSS feed.
This is a bit of an experiment but I am hoping someone might find it useful. I have split the NYSDOT feed into regions. The application filters the main RSS feed according to a centre point and a radius which I took from Wikipedia. The application is up on the market so if your from New York then download it and send me some feedback, I can take it.
Definitely my last Android traffic application for a while as I _really_ have to get on with another more pressing application.
On a different note I see that Doom has been launched on the Market. The key bindings are a bit hard to setup but it’s still pretty cool.
I have removed the NY traffic application from the market. It was an interesting experiment and I managed to get some nice refinements for the UK traffic application from it but I have to view it as more hassle than it was worth. NYSDOT do update the feed but only to add severe incidents like accidents and the like, otherwise it just looks like the data is old. This seemed to confuse the users of the application.
I have been getting reports of crashes with the latest version of gTraffic for Android. This is all a bit unfortunate and a bit of a surprise. It works fine on my dev phone but that has been updated to the 1.1 version of the SDK. I see there could be many reasons for this. I am loathe to roll back to the previous version as it has many annoying flaws which I fixed in the most recent. I will watch and see if the installs start to rise again and try and get some feedback as to whether it works for some people. If it works for you please email me or leave a comment.
Well install didn’t start to rise again they just fell and fell. I am totally gutted about this as I didn’t mean to cheese people off. I guess the damage is done. I have withdrawn the app from the market until I can figure out what the hell is going on.
I have rebuilt and re-deployed. Strangely the file size was different between the old and re-compiled version. I am clueless as to why. Let’s hope this has fixed it.
version 1.3.5 is up on Android Market. This has a few improvements for stuff that was annoying me but not necessarily things people might have noticed.
- Empty list text centred on the view.
- Position indicator letter for region list.
- Position indicator letter for incident list. Letter maps to the first letter of the ‘location’ description which can be a road or a street.
- Map keeps position and zoom level after help display or settings is opened and then closed on the map view.
- Toast is killed is you exit the map view and one is displayed.
- Load is picked up and not aborted when keyboard is flipped open when loading.
Lots of nice comments. Thanks for that. In answer to those people asking about a U.S version I will have to look into it. The UK has quite a progressive agency for traffic management who are heavily into new technology and public dissemination of such travel data. The U.S is a lot larger and data tends to be supplied on a city to city basis. Also (and most significantly) it’s not generally free to use. I would have to strike a deal with what amounts to the local authority for the target region.
I finally got sick of working on gTraffic for Android and published it. There is still a ton of stuff I would put in but I have to get started on a commercial application.
Go to the Android market to download it. You can view comments here.
A bit hello to anyone surfing in here on their phone. Feedback always welcome.
I recently got an email from Google stating that the UK market for apps has opened. I figured that there might be some UK traffic applications and I was right. My application isn’t ready quite yet. I reckon by Sunday night I will be able to publish it. I am kind-of on target. The map element isn’t very good yet but I am working on it.
You will see I have added a timeline element to the list view. The duration is displayed with a red line to indicate _now_. I might change this to ‘time left’ but I am not sure how to make that obvious. The Timebar (as I call it) is a custom control. I put this together with help from the developer group and Retio Meier’s excellent book on Android programming.
Here is the loading screen for Strathclyde. The whole of the UK is available through the BBC feed which as far as I know is a mix of Highways Agency and TrafficLink so it’s really the best source you can get.
The main list view with timeline element.
I have redone the icons using InkScape so that they are a ‘bit’ better. Not much since I am no graphic artist. I am really starting to get into InkScape though. An amazing application especially for icons and stuff if you’ve got the patience.
I think this is going to be a free application. That was how I had visualised it. The BBC data comes with some heavy duty conditions which the iPhone developer of a similar application got around (I presume) by making people add the xml feed URL themselves. I am undecided. I feel that using the data in that way was a but underhand. I believe in free data for this stuff.
Side by side. You can see the Android app looks like it has pulled the more recent data.
I am still struggling with making an XML pull parser which extracts the data to the same degree of accuracy that the old Python parser did.
Here is the map view. I just got this working so I am pretty chuffed. I calculate the bounds for each region when I load the data. These value are stored in the database against the region name and then when the map is created it sets itself to the bounds of the displayed data.
That’s all the main views in now so I need to go back through the whole thing and tidy up a few funnies.
- Map popups
- String search against traffic list so you can put in a name or location.
- Long press for traffic list to flip to the map and zoom to the selected item.
- Icons need to be redone with InkScape to make them scalable.
I reckon there is a weeks work left and this will be publishable.
I am back working on my UK Traffic application. Here are some screenshots.
Loaded traffic list from selected region. Icons are for test purpose only. They will be redone once I iron all the wrinkles in the UI out. You will note they are coloured for severity. Parsing the TPEG data to extract this was a major pain as none of the Android pull-type parsers perform entity replacement which is what TPEG uses heavily to allow multi-language support. I ended up having to devise a two pass solution which parses the xml on the first pass then fills in the entities on the second. I load the entity definitions I am interested in from a local definition file on start-up of the application. It’s pretty clunky as a solution but sometimes you’ve just got to go with what works.
Master list of regions loaded only once on startup from BBC OPML definition.
Filter dialog lets you switch types on and off from traffic event view.