Deutsche Bahn, the German railway company, is entirely owned by the state. So you may think it reasonable that its timetable data should be freely available, in line with the open data trend that’s growing so quickly in Europe.
Think again. Not long ago, an enterprising group of open data enthusiasts calling themselves openPlanB (cheeky tagline: ‘innovation without permission’) got their hands on a CD-ROM containing station coordinates, bus and train schedules and so on. Having converted it to JSON, early this month they put all the data online in torrent form, under the Open Database License (ODbL).
Here’s an example of the neat stuff you can do with this data – just a pretty animation, but think of all the third-party apps that could benefit from the raw material:
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