We started this project with one goal in mind - making data available and easy to read. After studying the system and the data available, we realize that there should be the system could benefit many stakeholders as the data can be used by the stakeholder to perform a variety of different tasks.
What does it do?
We have created an interface that displays information about the trains running in a selected area, serving the user a dashboard. This information is obtained from the TRUST system provided by the Network Rail open data mirror. The user will be able to interact with the interface to obtain information about a specific region within the map provided and determine the number of trains that are currently on route.
How we built it
We used Python's Flask Web Framework which deals with obtaining the information from TRUST and updates itself to be able to efficiently respond to queries from the client. The client-side is running a React Framework along side Google's Material Design Component to display information in the best possible ways.
Challenges we ran into
1) Understanding the data given by TRUST and SMART 2) Building a UX without a designer. 3) Knowing who was going to use our product 4) Splitting the workload of efficiently extracting relevant data and building the visualization
When first presented with the challenge we weren't sure who the product should be marketed to, as a result we were imagining features which various different groups of consumers would find useful. This would have ended in an app that was feature rich but would likely be difficult to navigate.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of coming this far in this hackathon because we have gained so much information from learning about the train system such as TRUST and SMART.
What we learned
The current tools to visualize train information on a map are outdated and difficult to use. TRUST and SMART has a lot of data but not fully utilized.
What's next for Network on Rails
We plan to add more functionalities to utilize the data provided by Network Rails. We also plan to use the data to help our users to add value to their business by sharing this information to their customers to allow them to increase customer acquisition.