Finally Open Data, for one day

It goes without saying, the NMBS/SNCB (don’t mix them up with Infrabel or NMBS/SNCB Holding) and iRail haven’t been the best friends over the past 4 years. But we do not really worry about it: they are even fighting with Infrabel, the railway operator, over who owns the data*, and even the biggest organizations and research groups in Belgium scrape the data from their website.

Bad news! The 3d of October, the railway people are on strike. As usual with these strikes no one understands exactly why, and if we dare to ask why, the commuters are too selfish.

But, we have good news as well. Thanks to the fact of the strike, we can now publish a dataset of 1 full day. We have created a GTFS (General Transit Feed Specification) which contains all the schedules for October the third. We are accepted through all the tests and we got published at the official GTFS Data Exchange website.

And we have a call for participation! If you are a developer, a graphic designer, an artist, a producer, an author, basically anything, wouldn’t you like to participate in our 3d of October take-over iRail.be contest? Make a website, send us the code, get published on iRail.be on the 3d of October!

* For your interest, transport data is not copyrightable. Therefore, there is no such thing as a transport data owner. The railway companies should realize that they are responsible for getting people from one place to another and the other way around. This includes providing people with the correct data, something SNCB/NMBS has always refused to do.