Posts Tagged: boston

Auto-Discovering Open Geo Data Sets

For the Analyze Boston Open Data Challenge last Saturday at District Hall, I built a little script that auto-discovered datasets from Boston’s Open Data Hub that are likely to have geographic coordinates or semi-spatial information, such as addresses, neighborhoods, zip codes, etc.

I exploited the CKAN developer API for retrieving metadata about the Hub’s resources, and ran some simple heuristics on the data set’s field names. The technique is not specific to the Boston data portal, so it should work just as well on any CKAN-powered site!

Here’s the web page.

Here’s the code.

Sensors on the MBTA public transit

Saw this today at Boston’s South Station – “Passenger Counting Sensors in Use.” What does it mean? According to this article, this is a limited trial project just for the month of May (and just at South Station), wherein the MBTA (our regional transit authority) is trying to figure out if their contractor is doing a good job of collecting fares on the commuter rail line. Sounds like an innovative way to use sensor technology to solve a problem cheaply with very little “big brother”-ish implications.
Passenger Counting Sensors in Use