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7 septembre 2012

 

Montréal, le 7 septembre 2012 - Ce samedi 8 septembre, à l'Université McGill, près de 200 développeurs en informatique participeront à Hack ta ville, un événement intensif de création informatique. Réalisé en partenariat avec la Ville de Montréal, la Société de transport de Montréal (STM) et l'Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT), Hack ta ville vise à développer des applications portant sur le transport, la planification urbaine mais aussi l'agriculture urbaine, le développement durable ou l'utilisation du territoire (lieux publics, parcs, développement résidentiel). L'événement provoquera une rencontre entre amoureux de la ville, citoyen-bidouilleurs (hackers), concepteurs, acteurs communautaires, universitaires et professionnels des transports et leur permettra de développer un projet web ou mobile à partir des ensembles de nouvelles données ouvertes par la Ville de Montréal, la STM et l'AMT.

 

« Je suis très heureux que la Ville de Montréal libère de nouveaux ensembles de données dans le cadre de Hack ta ville, le 8 septembre prochain. Cela fera bientôt un an qu'elle est devenue la première municipalité au Québec à ouvrir ses données. Elle a permis ainsi aux développeurs de créer de nouvelles applications informatiques qui facilitent la vie des Montréalais, notamment en ce qui a trait à leurs déplacements, tout en stimulant l'entrepreneurship », a déclaré le président du comité exécutif de la Ville de Montréal, M. Michael Applebaum.

 

Pour alimenter le travail des développeurs présents à Hack ta ville, la Ville de Montréal libère les nouveaux ensembles de données suivants :

 

• Stationnement sur rue – Panneaux de signalisation

• Anciens territoires administratifs de la Ville de Montréal

• Recensement de la population de l'île de Montréal – 2011

• Arbres publics sur le territoire de la Ville - Échantillon arrondissement de Ville-Marie

 

La plupart de ces ensembles de données sont accessibles sur le portail des données ouvertes de la Ville de Montréal à l'adresse http://donnees.ville.montreal.qc.ca/. Sur place, la Ville de Montréal fournira également sur CD-ROM des échantillons de données sur les éléments suivants :

 

• Arboretum

• Boisés

• Lieux culturels

• Écoterritoires,

• Terrains en friches

• Milieux humides

• Parcs et les ruisseaux

 

De son côté, « l'AMT est soucieuse d'offrir une information en continu concernant ses services de transport collectif. Une toute nouvelle gamme d'outils d'information instantanée a donc été développée pour faciliter les déplacements des clients tout au long de leur parcours, comme 511AMT, le site mobile, l'outil Alerte-Train et le compte Twitter de l'AMT. Au même titre que les applications qui pourront être créées grâce à l'ouverture de nos données, ces technologies améliorent la coordination des services pour les clients. L'ouverture de nos données en temps réel s'inscrit dans ce cadre et permettra de développer des solutions d'applications mobiles innovantes afin d'offrir une information utile à la clientèle pour rendre l'expérience du transport collectif conviviale et facile », souligne le vice-président, Communication et marketing de l'AMT, M. Pierre-Luc Paquette. L'AMT rendra donc accessible de toutes nouvelles données en temps réel concernant son réseau de trains de banlieue au amt.qc.ca/developpeurs.

 

Sous le format standardisé General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS)-temps réel :

 

• État du service des trains de banlieue (le respect des horaires)

• Alertes de service concernant les retards, les annulations, les événements imprévus et les horaires modifiés

• Position des rames de trains sur l'ensemble du réseau de l'AMT

 

Sous le format Transit Communications Interface Profiles (TCIP) :

 

• Liste de l'ensemble des lignes du réseau de trains de banlieue

• Liste des gares du réseau de l'AMT

• Horaire de tous les voyages

• Respect des trains à l'horaire en temps réel

• Alertes sur l'état du service des trains

 

Par ailleurs, « la STM rend disponible aujourd'hui un ensemble de données, totalement anonymes, qui portent sur les déplacements d'utilisateurs de la carte OPUS au sein des réseaux de bus et de métro. Entre les mains des développeurs créatifs et talentueux présents à Hack ta ville, ces données pourront par exemple servir à développer des outils qui proposent des trajets alternatifs pour faciliter les déplacements des citoyens et favoriser l'utilisation du cocktail transport », a affirmé M. Michel Labrecque, président du conseil d'administration de la STM.

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http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2012/09/05/hack-ta-ville-will-gather-programmers-to-solve-urban-problems/

 

 

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From the LivingLab website.

 

Last year, TranspoCampMTL gathered transportation professionals, city officials, and interested citizen to discuss the perennial problems with moving around, and brainstorm possible solutions. It was also where several metropolitan transit agencies, like the AMT and STL, released open data of their bus and train schedules.

 

Part of this gathering involved a hackathon where programmers banged out prototypes of applications using all kinds of transportation data.

 

This year, things will happen differently. A separate hackathon, Hack Ta Ville, will take place on Saturday Sept. 8, two weeks before TranspoCampMTL 2012. I asked organizer Stéphane Guidoin of OpenNorth to say more about it.

 

This year you decided to separate the hackathon from the main TranspoCamp event. Why?

 

Last year, a mini-hackathon was organized within the TranspoCamp. The idea behind that was to draw citizen/hackers to an event that mainly targeted experts and professionals in the transportation field. We wanted these two groups to meet and cross-pollinate. From that point of view, it was a success, but some developers felt that this was achieved at the expense of knuckling down to some serious coding.

 

So, for this year’s event, we wanted to keep the “mix” – an important objective — but via a a full-fledged hackathon. So we organized Hack Ta Ville on September 8th, fully two weeks before the Transpo-Camp. Hackers and transportation experts are both invited, again. The results from this hackathon, co-produced we hope by coders and professionals (and students—it will be held at McGill University!) at the TranspoCamp on Sept 21st.

 

What kind of data is available this year? What do you hope will be made with them?

 

Currently we know we will have parking data, the individual listings of trees for Montréal and thanks to you, we will have road accident data. We are also working to get other datasets from partner organizations. The simple applications we can expect are visualisations of these data such as maps with the dangerous roads of Montréal (using accident data). But the real fun happens when people are able to cross the datasets. For example, we’d love to see a team crossing the number of accidents with the intersection car counts data that the City also released.

 

Importantly, the hackathon is not limited to the use of the datasets, it’s really about seeing the city differently, thinking of small ways sometimes about how to make the city better, as citizens, and engaging the public bodies to take into account citizen’s points of view. For example, some people would like to do something like “I Wish This Was” that lets citizen say how they would like to see vacant or badly used lots transformed. So it’s all about showing what the city is, and thinking about what it could become.

 

What ideas sprung from TranspoCamp last year that are being developed? What ideas were left on the side?

 

Probably the main outcome was collaboration. I was surprisedto see some people/organizations that should have been collaborating together for some time, but seemed to meeting for the first time at the TranspoCamp! And this is something with a high value since arguably our biggest challenge today now is that many organizations are working in silos and thus are not able to tackle complex system problems. But there were other more tangible outcomes, too. Remember, this was an un-conference, so people got to define the areas of discussion themselves.

 

One exciting project that was galvanized at the last TranspoCamp is an urban smart-phone game currently under development. The game is inspired by ideas discussed at one of the TranspoCamp workshops. Many great ideas from that event are not yet developed: a lot! But that’s also the principle of a camp: lots of discussions, lots of ideas, only a few may make it further and become reality.

 

How much are transportation officials in the Montreal area interested in TranspoCamp? Are they truly engaged, or has it mostly been lip service?

 

Obviously there is a lot of curiosity from officials. Many were present at the first event and we expect more this year. The unconference model allows real exchanges between participants and officials, who see this as an opportunity to quickly cut to the most relevant points of view from other professionals and engaged citizens. How much it changes their behaviour and process is more difficult to evaluate.

 

It was experimental, few true unconferences have been organized so far in Montreal. Given the fruitful discussions we had, some bodies are moving towards more open consultation process with citizens which is an important step. But of course others are still stuck in the “listen to our message” philosophy. Change comes slowly, but we are showing a new way forward.

 

What would you expect after the hackathon?

 

We wish to foster an ongoing community around city-hacking. And city-hacking is not only about software, it’s also about DIY urban project, citizen engagement and so on. That’s why we invited geeks, like many other hackathons, but also urban planners, transportation people, etc.

 

In order to do really meaningful projects, we need a broad spectrum of expertises. The challenge will be to mix these expertises and built some truly sustainable and innovative projects.

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http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/opens+access+data+real+time+train+locations/7209150/story.html

 

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The Agence métropolitaine de transport has GPS devices that allows it to track the location of its trains in real-time. But that data has been used only internally, until now.

Photograph by: John Mahoney

 

Agency hopes independent developers create applications for smartphones

Where’s your late train?

 

Soon, you should be able to pinpoint its location on an online map, helping you decide whether to wait or opt for another mode of transport.

 

Montreal’s train authority is for the first time making real-time information about its train locations available to computer programmers, who are expected to use the data to create websites and smartphone apps for commuters.

 

Agence métropolitaine de transport trains are equipped with GPS technology that allows the authority to track them. Until now that data was only used internally.

 

“We’re hoping developers will create applications that show people on a map where exactly our trains are,” said AMT spokesperson Brigitte Léonard.

 

“Such applications could greatly help commuters in their travels. If, for example, you’re on a bus and you see your train will be late you can decide on another way to get to your destination.”

 

The release of the real-time data is part of a series of measures the AMT announced Friday. At some point this fall:

 

* real-time information about AMT trains will be integrated into the trip-planning feature of Google Maps.

 

* five Twitter feeds will be created to provide up-to-date information about tardy trains – one for each of the AMT’s five train lines.

 

The first programmers to use the AMT’s real-time data will be those participating in Hack Ta Ville, taking place Saturday at McGill University. More than 250 people are registered for the hackathon, a collaborative computer programming event.

 

Programmers, designers, community organizers, academics and transportation and urban-planning experts will look at transport and urban planning.

 

Aside from the AMT real-time information, the programmers will also have access to data from the city of Montreal and other bodies.

 

“We’re hoping that people will develop some real-world applications,” said Jason Prince, a McGill urban-planning research coordinator and Hack Ta Ville organizer.

 

“Our transportation system is a bit clunky. You ride a bus to connect to another bus, but that bus left two minutes ago. You have to wait 15 minutes for the next bus. It takes an awful lot of time to cross the city.”

 

If real-time data was available, he added, “you would be able to more efficiently go from Point A to Point B” combining the use of buses, the métro, trains and Bixis.

 

To reduce traffic and pollution in Montreal, “it has to be as efficient, as fast, to use mass transit as it is to use your car,” Prince said.

 

The best of the projects developed on Saturday will be presented at TranspoCamp, a Sept. 21 conference that’s part of the AMT-organized In Town Without My Car event.

 

This week, the Société de transport de Montréal said it would equip its 1,900 buses with GPS technology over two years, starting in 2014. It’s part of a $200-million project that also includes new two-way radios for bus drivers.

 

[email protected]

 

Twitter:@andyriga

 

For more on Hack Ta Ville and TranspoCamp, visit livinglabmontreal.com

 

 

 

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/opens+access+data+real+time+train+locations/7209150/story.html#ixzz25vBas5KN

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Hack ta ville, a hackathon sponsored by the city of Montreal and the STM, is hosted by the Student's Society of McGill University on September 8, 2012. A group of students working on a digital civic engagement mapping project: Left to right, Khorshid Azad, Valentine Rinner (top) Maya Richman, George Parker and Jaimie Cudmore.

 

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Hack+ville+gathering+geeks/7214691/story.html#ixzz2658rMFaY

 

MONTREAL - They gathered around their laptops, kibbitzed about the annoyances of Montreal’s infrastructure, took part in tutorials on the rudimentaries of how to master HTML, program in Python, set up a Crowdmap.

 

It was a hackathon – “a gathering of geeks,” as one organizer put it.

 

But the 250 young programmers, Web designers, community activists, teachers, city officials and ordinary citizens who came to the free “Hack ta ville” event at McGill University had a public mission: To make the city more efficient for everyone.

 

Using newly-released “open source” data from the city of Montreal and the Agence métropolitaine de transport and Société de transport de Montréal transportation agencies, the participants hashed out ideas on getting around town.

 

They talked about Bixis, commuting by train, the blight of orange road cones. And they got busy on their Macs (and some PCs) trying to use the data to illustrate – and hopefully solve – everyday problems.

 

They came up with other ideas, too: cracking down on drivers who idle their engines and pollute the air, mapping apartments based on their cleanliness, posting photos of vacant lots they’d like put to better use.

 

Their goal? To turn ideas into websites and smartphone apps.

 

At one of several tables set up in the high-ceilinged, concrete ballroom of McGill’s student centre on McTavish St., computer science undergrad Benoît Hiller deplored the state of Montreal’s Bixi system.

 

The big issue? “Availability,” he replied.

 

“There are full stations, empty stations – It’s ridiculous how many bikes they have to move back and forth. People should be able to know beforehand where to go for a bike.”

 

The newly released data range widely. They give people access to real-time locations of trains in the AMT network (so they can know when their train is late, for example), lists of fruit trees planted in the downtown Ville Marie borough (so they can pick when it’s ripe rather than letting it rot), data on OPUS card use in the STM network (to know when the peak times and where the busy routes are and adjust accordingly.)

 

With all that information, “the goal is to change the city,” said Stéphane Guidon, 34, an industrial engineer from France who works for the national advocacy group OpenNorth and helped organize the day-long event at McGill, where coffee and bagels and a vegan-friendly lunch nourished the participants’ creativity. “People sit down at a table, someone throws out an idea and the group runs with it. They can also post it on the bulletin board here so others can join them.”

 

Last year’s session, held in mid-December as part of the Montreal Living Lab’s TranspoCamp conference, produced some solid ideas: put Bixi stations at intersections with heavy pedestrian traffic, help commuters build their itinerary in a multimodal way (bus or métro, Bixi and foot) that’s better than what Google Map offers, create a Web-based “suggestion box” where people can ask the city to fix a pothole or an obstruction by pinpointing it on an online map.

 

Saturday’s session was held two weeks ahead of this year’s TranspoCamp on Sept. 21, part of the annual In Town Without My Car event. The best ideas from the hackfest will be presented there. “Nothing will be finalized today – things take time – but at least the concepts will be developed,” said Pierre Lefort, 36, an immigrant from Paris who was hired as a Web advisor at the STM two months ago and was its sole representative at the McGill event.

 

“We need to listen to what’s being proposed on the ground at events like these,” he said. “It’s 2012, and businesses like ours need to know what people who use the system are going through every day.”

 

On the Web: hacktaville.ca, opennorth.ca, livinglabmontreal.org/TranspoCamp2012

 

 

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Hack+ville+gathering+geeks/7214691/story.html#ixzz2658DxLDc

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