Case Studies

Bristol City Council Logo

The Bristol API

Bristol City Council needed a Smart City API to publish their transportation and city data to developers across the whole of the United Kingdom.

 

bristol_portal_framed_small Urban Things won the tender to build and operate The Bristol API, which provides datasets including live vehicle departures, transportation and smart city data and live journey planning. Key features include:

  • The UK’s only Smart City API outside of London.
  • A bespoke solution that unifies more than twenty disparate datasets, from train stations to street names to car park occupancy data.
  • A robust, performant API that delivers data in developer-friendly formats via an array of RESTful endpoints.
  • Mobile SDKs from launch allowing developers to get up-and-running with a mobile app in minutes.
  • A comprehensive back-end monitoring and reporting dashboard to allow the council to export usage reports, graph consumption data and initiate end-user communications.
  • Configurable rate and hit limits per user, allowing the council to flexibly ‘top up’ hit quotas to foster SME growth.
  • An ongoing commitment to data maintenance and enhancements; including integration of several new datasets during the first year.
  • A genuine desire to engage with the developer community, including the ongoing hosting and running of Hackathons and engagement days.

The Bristol API launched in January 2016 and was extremely well-received. Our first developer engagement day was a sell-out event and usage continues to climb.

Matthew Cockburn headshot

Matthew Cockburn, City Innovation Project Manager

“The City Innovation team at Bristol City Council found Urban Things good to work with. The reason we chose their API solution was its flexibility, usability and robustness. It was clear to us that Urban Things understood the developer community and what would attract them to use the Bristol API. It has allowed Bristol to release a wide range of datasets in easy-to-consume format and developers to experiment, learn  and create a range of interesting projects.”

If you would like your own Smart City API solution or have similar requirements, don’t hesitate to drop us a line – we’ll get right back to you.


TravelWest Logo

TravelWest BusChecker App

TravelWest needed a high-quality mobile app to encourage sustainable transport by providing local bus information to travellers.

 

TravelWest Bus Checker framed on samsung phone

UrbanThings worked with TravelWest to develop their own white-labelled app, ‘TravelWest Bus Checker’, with key features including:

  • High quality mobile app based on our existing high-quality core code.
  • Cross-platform solution for both iPhone and Android.
  • Live display of bus times and real-time disruptions data.
  • Real-time search and display of bus route maps within the app, with data sourced from locally supplied TransXChange XML files.
  • Integration with Bristol Council’s local SIRI data feed, including custom integrations to supply additional service and cancellation information.
  • Integration with MDV journey planning engine to provide directions planning from TravelWest’s preferred provider.
  • Back end usage monitoring and reporting facilities to allow TravelWest to monitor app usage and key metrics such as busiest bus stops, journey planning usage, etc.

The TravelWest BusChecker App launched in 2014 to critical acclaim and has been downloaded by hundreds of thousands of local users.

 

Andrew Whitehead
Andy Whitehead, LSTF Programme Manager

“Providing access to intuitive, dynamic and reliable bus information has long been the holy grail for local transport authorities and public transport operators.  TravelWest Bus checker has transformed the bus user experience in our region and delivered a product that continues to lead the way in a highly competitive marketplace.”
 
“The result is an innovative solution that has helped to overcome the many daunting barriers associated with bus travel. TravelWest Bus checker solves these issues with ease, placing the user at the centre and enabling commuters to confidently take control of their journey.”
 
“Perhaps this is best summed up in one of the many positive reviews:”

‘This app probably represents one of the best investments that the West of England local authorities have ever made. It makes the chore of using a bus simpler and removes some of that nagging doubt that your bus will never turn up.’

If you would like your own high quality mobile application or white-labelling solution, don’t hesitate to drop us a line – we’ll get right back to you.