Ipswich: Key role for data specialist ITO World in Google Maps app upgrade
PUBLISHED: 17:13 14 May 2014 | UPDATED: 17:20 14 May 2014
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A technology company in Ipswich has played a key role in an update of online giant Google’s official Maps app, which now includes details of public transport links across the whole of Great Britain.
Until now, the app has included transport links in London and parts of the South-East but the new update, unveiled today, also includes the rest of England plus Scotland and Wales
The data which underpins the service has been prepared on behalf of Google by Ipswich-based ITO World from a variety of “open” sources, a task involving more than 17,000 separate bus, coach, train, tram and ferry routes.
Members of the company’s Transport DMP team combine years of transport data expertise with cutting-edge technological capability, allowing ITO World to collate, aggregate and enrich data and then converting and serving it to clients such as Google in the format they require.
Peter Miller, chief executive, said: “We are proud to be working with Google, proud of our transport data service and proud to be based in Ipswich. Our partnership is clear evidence that you don’t have to be in London to be successful. Having the right skills, experience and expertise is far more important.”
David Tattersall, product manager for public transport at Google Maps, said: “This is the single largest and most comprehensive update we’ve ever done to our public transport coverage anywhere in the world, so it’s something we’re really proud of.
“One of the things we realised with public transport is that it can be a really bewildering task for a lot of people if you’re not familiar with what bus stop you should go to, where you should get off, things like that. We set out to make public transport a lot easier for people living in England, Scotland and Wales.”
He added: “Today every available train, bus, tube, tram and ferry in Great Britain are joined up by Google Maps to make a comprehensive one-stop-shop for public transport. This has been made possible by the availability of open transport data from partners like Traveline and served through ITO World.”
ITO World, a member of the EADT’s Future50 listing of up-and-coming businesses with high growth potential, is committed to extending the scope of Transport DMP beyond just Great Britain as and when the relevant data becomes available. This would see Northern Ireland included.
The company also provides publicity and communication services and is developing data visualisation and insight tools that aim to make complex data sets easier to understand and simpler to act on for transport authorities, planners, operators and consumers.
Mr Miller said he believed ITO’s data and data visualisation capabilities would aid future transport planning and policy, adding: “A voracious appetite is emerging in the transport sector for data, data driven insight and real-time business intelligence.
“That’s why ITO is attracting so much attention from organisations that have significant commercial and economic interests in understanding traffic, movement across modes, network connectivity, congestion, asset management and safety − particularly as there is an increasingly overwhelming amount of data available to understand.”