The story of a government looking for technology to do what it does better is becoming increasingly average.
And Callowhill-based GIS software firm Azavea, which recently changed its name from Avencia, has made it something of a habit of getting involved whether those discussions are happening in Philadelphia or not.
More than a month after chasing New York City’s BigApps contest, an Azavea developer has his eyes set on winning a challenge from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
The MassDOT Developers Real Time Challenge — whose landing page seemed to be down all weekend — calls on developers to create applications that utilize the MBTA Real-Time XML Trial Feed — which includes data for specific bus routes — and make it more accessible through the internet, mobile devices, land-line phones, text messages, software applications and any other widely accessible software platform, according to a release from the company.
So, Azavea developer David Zwarg has created BusMinder, which lets users create bus reminder alerts — or ‘busminders’ one might say — to receive SMS or e-mail alerts for the estimated arrival times of bus stops. Read more from Zwarg on developing the tool here. Zwargs’s simple application is not dissimilar from Walkshed, the neighborhood walkability score tool from his colleague Aaron Ogle, which was submitted to the BigApps contest.
Both tools, the release says, “promote a more sustainable economy and environment, ultimately making our communities healthier, and more socially and economically responsible.”
Now if only they had a contest to enter in Philadelphia.