Transitland's mission is to make the world's transportation data as accessible as possible. We do this by smoothing out some of the quirks of the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) format commonly used by transit agencies and then aggregating the transit data into a centralized, accessible place called the Transitland Datastore.
For those of us who would like to work with transit data but are not programmers—urban planners, GIS analysts, advocacy groups, or Maptimers, for example—knowing where to start with a web service like the Datastore might seem daunting. This is where the Transitland Playground comes in. The Playground acts as a front door to the Datastore API, providing a way to view and download all of the data without writing any lines of code.
The Playground offers a simple way to visualize transit data. Curious about transportation options near a park in your city? No need to visit numerous transit provider websites, download multiple datasets, or mentally conflate various transit system maps just to understand how it all fits together. Using the Playground, you can zoom the map to the area of interest, run a query, and see what's there.
The Playground uses a "Mad Libs" style to search the Datastore for operator, route, and stop information. Currently, there is data available for six transportation providers in the San Francisco Bay Area and two in New York City, with more on the way. The results are downloadable as well, in CSV and JSON formats (the JSON data download is a bookmarkable page, so you can save your search results). This allows you to work with the data however you'd like—create dynamic web maps of transit systems, run GIS analyses on the neighborhoods around transit hubs, advocate for transit improvements in your city… we're excited to see how you explore the data!