May 19, 2020

Cape Town is the world’s first city to have its entire formal and informally-run public transport networks mapped

Devin De Vries
co-founder of WhereIsMyTransport
Graeme Leighton
Catherine Rowell
4 min
Cape Town is the world’s first city to have its entire formal and informally-run public transport networks mapped

WhereIsMyTransport has announced that data for the entire public transport network of Cape Town is now available through its platform. Integrating data from both formal (i.e. officially provided) and informally-run (i.e. minibus taxis) transport for the South African city, this makes Cape Town the world’s first city to have both its formal and informally-run transport system data captured, integrated and openly available.

To celebrate this achievement, the company has created a map of the city’s most active informally-run taxi routes, visualising data from the transport information company’s open platform.

Informally-run transport accounts for 80-90 percent of public transport journeys for passengers in medium-sized emerging cities. However, little documentation on these services exists, and where it does, data is incomplete or of low quality. Cape Town is now the only city in the world which has its entire transport system mapped, and where the data is integrated and accessible to anyone on the WhereIsMyTransport platform (an API).

This platform has been created to allow developers, transport operators and government officials to build solutions, such as journey planners, fare estimators, communications tools and connected digital signage, that improve access to public transport information for citizens in emerging cities, as well as to provide insight and analytics to aid city planning.

WhereIsMyTransport’s 13 local data collectors spent under 3 weeks recording taxi journeys in Cape Town, mapping 657 unique routes, covering 8,870 kms, and capturing 1,482 of the most commonly used stops, with an average journey cost of R10.86 ($0.80). These data points have been added to the WhereIsMyTransport platform alongside data for the city’s formal transport network to provide a complete picture of all of the transport options available to residents of the city.

Devin De Vries, co-founder of WhereIsMyTransport, commented: “Fully mapping Cape Town is a phenomenal achievement for our team. We’ve demonstrated that complex transport systems can be mapped at a much lower cost than many cities believe. With our efficient technology and methodology, even large cities don’t need to spend millions to map their networks. We have already mapped two more cities and will be releasing data for South Africa’s major metros this year. And that’s just the beginning: we’re excited by the potential for cities across Africa.”

Cape Town is the first fully-mapped city in the platform, and will be followed by East London, South Africa and Gaborone, Botswana in March 2017. WhereIsMyTransport will continue collecting taxi network data in South Africa’s major cities including Port Elizabeth, Durban, Johannesburg, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, and Bloemfontein, all due to be complete by mid-2017. The company is in discussion with cities and local partners with the intention of fully mapping 20 African cities by the end of 2018. It already holds data on informally-run networks in Accra, Ghana, and Nairobi, Kenya.

While the company currently works with its own team to collect data, it has also created a ‘toolkit’ to enable any individual, organisation, or city to map their transport network. The toolkit includes a purpose-built app, methodology and planning techniques for tackling even the most sprawling cities, and support from the WhereIsMyTransport team to make data available through the platform.

Graeme Leighton, data collection co-ordinator for WhereIsMyTransport, commented: “We believe that the information challenge in South African cities undermines our infrastructure. We want to make the systems that exist more accessible for everyone. In Cape Town, every assumption we had about the network was challenged. We discovered dozens of previously unknown routes, and found many documented routes no longer operated.”

Leighton continued: “We invite others to put their own cities on the map and make their systems more accessible. Our tools are available to anyone interested in contributing to our platform, the world’s first open platform for public transport data in emerging cities.”

The first solutions built on the Cape Town data set will be created at a Hackathon hosted by WhereIsMyTransport in Cape Town from March 3rd-5th. Developers, designers, and people of all disciplines are invited to attend and work together on solutions. The event is sponsored by Microsoft and the City of Cape Town’s Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) and is part of the International Association for Public Transport’s Global Transport Hackathon series.

Developers can sign-up and access documentation and tutorials on the WhereIsMyTransport Developer Portal. The portal contains the latest information on which services and cities are currently in the platform.

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Jun 18, 2021

Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking

3 min
Intelliwave Technologies outlines how it provides data and visibility benefits for APTIM

“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.

We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time  spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.

Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate. 

With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.

There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.

Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture. 

It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.

Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.

On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.

As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.

A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.


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