Google Transit Feed Project

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This was a contract gig for RouteMe2 Technologies, a Silicon Valley company that specializes in developing location based service (LBS) applications for Google's Android smart phone.

My job was to digitize shuttle route maps and timetables and create sets of files conforming to the Google Transit Feed Specification. There were 95 routes in total, mostly free shuttles operating in the San Francisco, and the work was done on a milestone basis over several months.

All of the bus stops for each route needed to be Geocoded and the timetable and fare information extracted.

For the former it was a matter of reading the stops from the route maps and trying to pinpoint them on google maps. Street view came in very handy for this and many of the bus stops I could actually see, which was great for accuracy. That part of the job was a little bit like a cross between aerial reconnaissance and "Where's Waldo?". I was even able to call some of the agencies to dig for more information.

For the time-tabling, KPDF has a great feature that lets you draw a rectangle around a section of text in a PDF and extract it as plain text. which ended up being a big time saver. I wrote a few short perl scripts to take a timetable in CSV format and covert it into GTFS format. I used an spreadsheet to keep the datasets straight.

The final destination for all of this data is an application called "PedNav", developed by RouteMe2 technologies. It's a google Android application that works a little bit like a personal assistant. You tell it where you need to be for the day and at what time and it will create an itinerary for you with instructions of where to walk, and which bus to take. The application won the first round of the Google Android Developer Challenge.


Tags: perl, automation, applications, parser

Ebay Template & CSV Conversion

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Annette at Surplus4Business needed a fresh design for her ebay auction template combined with a scripted solution to accept a CSV file of product data as input and automatically insert it into the template and generate an ebay file exchange CSV. She had a large listing of items that needed to go online within a week. I was able to get the template and script finished in plenty of time for her deadline.


Tags: graphic design, perl, parser

Perl Phone Number Lookup Script

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Brenda at LOA Solutions LLC needed to look up phone numbers based on a spreadsheet containing name, city, state. I created a custom Perl script to efficiently fetch the numbers online. Just feed it a spreadsheet in CSV format, click a button and it does the rest.


Tags: perl, parser, applications, automation

Vital Stats:

  • Located in Raleigh, NC
  • Offering custom Web design & development
  • Experienced in scripting for business automation
  • Dedicated to web standards compliance

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