Home London Underground API Returns Thanks to the Cloud

London Underground API Returns Thanks to the Cloud

Transport for London (TfL) has relaunched its API using Microsoft Azure. Last June, TfL released an API that enabled developers to build tools such as a live London Underground train tracker. Unfortunately, the API was a victim of its own success: the service had to be shut down less than a month later due to the strain the enormous number of API calls were placing on TfL’s servers. The Guardian reports that the API is back, and the live train tracking with it.

From Microsoft’s announcement:

The latest data feed to be added to the Area and onto Windows Azure is called ‘Trackernet’ – an innovative new realtime display of the status of the London Underground ‘Tube’ network. Trackernet is able to display the locations of trains, their destinations, signal aspects and the status of individual trains at any given time. This works by taking four data feeds from TfL’s servers and making it available to developers and the public via the Windows Azure platform.

Microsoft and TfL have worked in partnership to create this scalable and strategic platform. The platform is resilient enough to handle several million requests per day and will enable TfL to make other feeds available in the future via the same mechanism, at a sustainable cost.

Services available through the API include:

  • Live traffic disruptions
  • Realtime road message signs
  • Barclays Cycle Hire docking station locations
  • Timetable of planned weekend Tube works
  • Station locations (for Tube, DLR and London Overground)
  • River Thames pier locations
  • Findaride (licensed private hire operators)
  • Oyster Ticket Stop locations

Developers interested in working with the TfL API can find out more here.

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