Bronze INCA Award for voice application offering realtime Belgian train times


Last Tuesday at the iMinds conference in Ghent my speech application prototype with realtime Belgian train times got a Bronze INCA Award. Here’s what the jury had to say:

A practical application shows the clear potential for new applications by voice via any phone using public data and open APIs (that are unfortunately not available yet).

About 25% of my code and time was indeed spent on the development of an (obviously) invisible screen-scraping Web service layer on top of www.railtime.be. Judgeing from the feedback I got before, during and after iMinds, there would have been 5 or 10 times as many public transport related INCA submissions, if only Infrabel, De Lijn, MIVB etcetera had done the effort of opening up their internal web services to the development community.

Bronze INCA Award for Realtime Belgian train times application at iMinds 2009 in Ghent

So, in case the folks at IBBT and the newly to-be-elected politicians are looking for a low-cost initiative with an immediate impact on innovation and value creation in the local ICT sector: have the Belgian and Flemish government agencies and companies open up their data. Make this your top priority for this year. No, this month. No, this week!

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