Melbourne Tram Tracker for the N900

So Collabora's robotic and non-robotic overlords very graciously bought everyone on staff an N900 for Christmas. In my opinion, it's actually a very nice phone (although possibly a little on the large side); but the let down is there just isn't the same host of applications for it. Still, possessing both the tools and the skills, I figured I should do something about this, rather than complain.

One of the most useful iPhone applications in Melbourne is the real-time tram tracker. For stops without a display board, you can type in the stop ID and get the upcoming arrivals at that stop. You can also find nearby stops via GPS and a bunch of other things. It turns out that Yarra Trams offer a SOAP WSDL web service that is reasonably well documented, so I've spent a few days putting together a basic tram tracker for Maemo 5 (even if only two people will ever use it).

It currently can show upcoming trams for a stop by ID or by searching for stops by road names. Could possibly also do things like search for stop by route. There is a lot of information available. It doesn't yet do searching by location; the information is in the database, I've just not yet looked at how the location APIs work yet. Also need to add support for storing favourites.

I also want to add support for tracking a tram by tram ID. I'm wondering if it's possible to use the GPS to detect periods of immobility and check the upcoming tram stop after the tram starts moving again. I habitually miss stops; so what I think would be neat is to dial in a stop number or cross road you're looking for, and have your phone notify you when you're approaching it.

The web service uses python-suds, which is unfortunately not packaged for Debian, so I can't just rebuild it for Maemo (if anyone wants to package this up for me, that would be really awesome). Then I'll find out how well my app actually runs on the device.

In case anyone cares, the source code is here.

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Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Australia
This work by Danielle Madeley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Australia.