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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested in helping you with this--I'm a CS student. Can you email me at ernst@princeton.edu?