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MassDOT today announced the winners of the 2009 MassDOT Developers Challenge at the first annual MassDOT Developers Conference.  The Challenge inspired developers to create both mobile phone applications and data visualizations based on open data feeds provided on the MassDOT Developers Page.

MassDOT also announced the release of a Real-Time XML Trial Feed of MBTA bus locations on five of the MBTA’s most popular bus routes.  The feed includes data for bus route 39 which serves Jamaica Plain, the Longwood Medical Area, and Back Bay in Boston; and bus routes 111, 114, 116, and 117 which serve Haymarket Station, East Boston, Chelsea, and Revere.  Developers will be able to access the feed and incorporate the real-time information into mobile phone and web-based applications that help MBTA customers know the actual location and estimated arrival of their bus.

The winner of the Application Challenge was the MassTransit iPhone application, built by Cambridge-based Sparkfish Creative (http://www.sparkfishcreative.com/masstransit/).  The winner of the best Data Visualization was James Kebinger, for his artistic representation titled “MBTA in Motion” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6Ye1AvMGtY). The Challenge winners receive a CharlieCard valid for one year of free travel on MBTA buses and rapid transit.

Second place in the Application Challenge went to OpenMBTA, a free and open source iPhone application that helps users navigate the MBTA’s system (http://iphonembta.org/).  Second place in the Visualization Challenge was awarded to a team of three local residents, for their work, “A Day in the Life of the MBTA”.

The Conference built on MassDOT’s historic step toward openness and transparency through creation of the MassDOT Developers Page.  MassDOT previously reached out to developers, holding a developers’ meeting and engaging the community through Twitter and Google Groups, and hopes to expand its data and incorporate more information in real-time.  More information is available at the MassDOTDevelopers Page.

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