Tuesday, September 23, 2008

NYC subway redux

So setting the Guinness Record for visiting all 468 stations on the NYC subway has long been an interest of mine.

I mean, it's even in the masthead of the blog!

Jay and I have toyed around a few times with writing a computer program to help with it. Solving it completely is analagous (well, at least similar) to the Travelling Salesman Problem and as such, might be a bit difficult to solve completely. But a computer program could at least help with some of the more mundane tasks in creating a route.

But the big problem has been data. While technically the subway data is in the public domain (since the MTA is a publicly-owned enterprise), getting all the right data in the right formats has been challenging.

It was just yesterday that Jay and I had dusted off some of the ol' spreadsheets and such. And as I was again just looking at a few things, I noticed that Google Transit had (finally) added NYC to its list of cities

I found a few posts on the Internet about people getting all the NYC subway data into GTFS (Google Transit Feed Specification), so I think that before too long we should have something.

Every County in Alabama

There are only 67 counties in Alabama, as compared to the 88 in Ohio. But Alabama is approximately 25% larger (in land area) than Ohio.

Since international rock-star Jim Tocco lives in Montgomery, I have toyed around with doing an EFALC.

Here is a first draft at a route

The 26:20 was my initial draft at a time, but upon further review, and taking into account our actual times from EFOHC, I think it's doable in 23:53.

I have sent Jim a test route which he will be doing sometime over the next month or so. Once he does that segment (roughly the SE section of the route), we can compare his actual time to the route estimates and see if this is doable.