How was the Better Rural Buses site built?

Originally free standing, all on its lonesome, we imported the site into when the domain was due to expire, so as to keep the project up and running as a demonstration.

Bus stops are a custom post type, built using Toolset.  The post type has 2 custom taxonomies, location and stop type, which allows us to identify and sort hail and ride stops from standard ones, and obviously pull information by location.

The Bus stop pages were constructed using Mappress (in a much earlier version, but it works very well still) and the data were imported using TurboCSV. The data download was derived from the official stop database, which is employed by most bus apps. This application however does not use a live service through the stop API, though we attempted to integrate live bus information from a variety of bus apps.

During the import, each stop was automatically geolocated based on the lat/long. Additional information was pulled together in a systematic way from a spreadsheet, including the links to the bus apps, which from recall merely throw the relevant data onto the url. That no longer works as the bus apps have changed the way they construct the url.

Mashups are really just based on Location, but extended search and a few other refinements meant this unfunded project was executed in a matter of days rather than weeks.

The Google Maps API does the main heavy lifting, and we styled the map in the usual way with a bit of json, to make it look a bit different. We even found some nice stop icons too, which don’t look quite so nice today.

The project was developed for, when I was volunteering my time for Sustaining Dunbar – doing among other things research on public transport, responding to consultations and coordinating communications and campaigns.

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