Distance optimisation on GTFS data

OData support
Paróczi Zsombor
Department of Telecommunications and Media Informatics

Nowadays, thanks to the Internet and Web technologies a solution to everyday problems can be easily and quickly found. The use of map and route planning is made easier by a number of online services in everyday life. In my thesis I was looking for a solution to the problem of determining the areas which are reachable in the shortest possible time from other multiple locations. I based my calculation on the public transportation database.

When comparing the distances of different locations from the same place I often faced that I had to start multiple queries in order to do so. In real life this problem can come up when different people looking for a place to live. My aim was to create application which can help the user decide where to move considering the different interests of the people moving together. The user can type in different workplace locations and the web service visualizes on the map the distances from all the possible locations in the city. Based on local public transport data, the amount of time in which the place is reachable is easy to specify.

In my thesis work I used the GTFS standard which determines the structure of the public transport data stored. I created a website where the user can type in various workplace locations and start a query to calculate the distances. I implemented the server side in Python language and separated into two parts. The first part makes the pre-processing of the data, it runs longer, calculates the shortest time intervals between the pairs of stops. The second part uses the calculated data to determine distances from the given workplaces.

I divided my thesis into seven chapters, the first being the introduction; in the second chapter I introduce the GTFS standard which describes a public transportation data structure. In the third chapter I go over some path finding algorithms; in the fourth chapter I summarize the technologies which I used. In the fifth chapter I write about my development; in the sixth part I demonstrate how the web service I created works with a randomly chosen GTFS database. The last section is the summary which also includes some further development possibilities.


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