New Ways of Doing Business, New Tools...

Real-time traffic data with Socrata, Tropo and Twitter (Video)

A digital transportation exchange needs real-time information to flow from people and machines who produce data, to other people and machines who need to use it. This flow of data needs to be intelligent and frictionless. This is why, conceptually, we think of DTE as a collection of these key elements

- Cloud data. With so many disparate participants, the only possible common fabric is the cloud

- Open Platforms, not rigid 'Enterprisey' systems

- APIs to allow machine-to-machine access

- Geo-awareness, ubiquitous throughout the ecosystem

- Universal access for people (web, mobile apps, SMS, social networks)

- To design this so that people are curators if not creators of data, not just consumers of it

- Everything needs to be discoverable using open standard protocols: the exchange needs to be an efficient marketplace for data and transactions.


So my colleague Chris and I, at Socrata, built a quick real-time Traffic Alerts prototype, to illustrate these concepts:


1) Someone reporte a traffic accident using their geo-located Twitter on a mobile phone,

2) That crowd-sourced alert gets aggregated in the Socrata cloud using Twitter Firehose and the Socrata API.

3) Once the data is in Socrata, it becomes queryable so that

4) A developer can mash it up with another data source (location of cabs) and based on a geo-query, send a text message to any cab within a 1km radius of the accident, using the Tropo Messaging API.


Pretty neat stuff. So neat, in fact, we decided to shoot a video of it - in one take, on a Friday afternoon :) or


Enjoy. We hope it gets some ideas flowing. Thanks

(The Socrata team)



3 votes
Idea No. 161