Chennai/Bus Route mapping project/Custom Mapplet

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A custom map application needs to be built to help users contribute their knowledge to the project without getting into openstreetmap editing. Bus route infromation and stop details will be gathered using this.

The idea is to start mapping the routes, first using stages and terminal stops and then increase the resolution of the route by adding more points in between, like bus stops between stages, and later waypoints between bus stops.

How it should work

Legend - Completed tasks will be striked out. Check the test site listed under external links to verify. It will be refreshed once a week with the latest build. If you find discrepancies, put a note.

Milestone 1 To collect an approximate geographical reference coordinate for each mtc stage name. Once all the stage names have a coordinate, one can instantly get the approximate route of a bus since the mtc uses only stages at this point.

  1. Route information - To list stages/bus stops in a given routes similiar to the mtc site
  2. Stage/Bus stop information - To list the bus routes that cover this stop/stage.
  3. Markers for stages that already have coordinates show up on the map.
  4. once all the stage names for a route have coordinates, a line is drawn joining them to get an approximate route

Milestone 2 Collection of detailed stage information

  1. When the user clicks a stage from the list and clicks on the map, a marker is added and the coordinates are assigned to that stage name in the database
  2. An interface for modifying the position of existing bus stop/stage.
  3. Ability to add alternate names for stages. this is because many names are trivial like water tank, tea shop etc.
  4. Users also should be able to add the places that are served by the stops under that stage. This includes names of localities and landmarks like shopping malls etc.

Milestone 3

  1. Addition of bus stops between stages. a bus traveling between any two stages pass a distinct set of bus stops in each direction. The screen design to use for this needs further thinking

Milestone 4

  1. Addition of way points between two bus stops. This way the route line will smoothly follow curves instead of just connecting bus stops with straight lines.
  2. Intelligent(?!) routing between any two bus stops. If user clicks on any two bus stops, most optimized travel schedule should be displayed, including bus numbers, transit stops etc.


PHP is currently being used for building the test site. Mapstraction API's are being used so that we could switch over between various map providers(Google, Microsoft Live Earth, OSM, Yahoo and many others) on the fly.

MySQL database will be used to store all the information. The schema has been designed based on Google Transit recommendations as it seems to be quite exhaustive.

Should we go for Content Management based website? As this website could be built into more comprehensive one, a CMS like Joomla could be used. Comments welcome.

Some good places to start

External links