Kathryn Killebrew was just trying to find her bearings.
She had recently moved to South Jersey from Texas and didn’t know her way around her new hometown. It didn’t help that Google Maps’ PATCO directions were terribly off. So Killebrew, a civic hacker who works for Azavea, built a solution: she created a PATCO data feed from the schedules on the transit agency’s website and paired that with a open source tool called OpenTripPlanner.
With her new tool, she could plan trips, using several different modes of transportation (bike, public transit), from South Jersey to Northern Liberties to attend Code for Philly’s civic hacking meetups.
Killebrew’s initial interest in OpenTripPlanner grew into a bigger passion for transportation apps: she was one of the developers behind bike-tracking app CyclePhilly and more recently, the technical lead for Azavea’s new project GoPhillyGo.
A project from the Clean Air Council, Azavea and Warkulwiz Design Associates, GoPhillyGo is a Philly-specific, souped up version of Google Maps because it supports routes that use more than one form of transportation (biking plus SEPTA, for example).
But its cooler feature is how it helps you explore the city. Have an hour to kill and got your bike? Use GoPhillyGo to find a place to go. (Pro tip: plan all your outdoor dates with it.)
The tool uses data feeds from SEPTA and Delaware’s DART transit system, plus Killebrew’s own PATCO feed. (PATCO is working on developing an official data feed now, Killebrew said.) It also uses OpenTripPlanner and OpenStreetMap, which Azavea has used for its OpenTreeMap, plus the popular Indego bike share API, said Azavea’s Robert Cheetham.
The tool, which is backed by a William Penn Foundation grant, builds off the Clean Air Council’s work in getting people to consider transportation options other than driving.
As for Killebrew, the PATCO feed she built isn’t so directly useful to her anymore: she’s since moved to Philly from South Jersey.
Knowledge is power!
Subscribe for free today and stay up to date with news and tips you need to grow your career and connect with our vibrant tech community.