Transport for London (TfL) has made real-time information available on its "Boris Bikes" scheme for developers seeking to create mobile apps.
The Barclays Cycle Hire XML feed will be updated every three minutes to contain the name, location, co-ordinates and maximum number of docking points for all operational docking stations.
TfL said it anticipates a major interest in the feed which will allow developers to innovate greater information applications for the public.
Malcolm Barclay is a freelance software developer for transport apps on the iPhone and a member of TfL's testing group. Barclay said he will use the feed to improve his cycle applications.
"Before the government released its real-time information I relied on a scraping feed to retrieve information from government sites, but the data could be up to 20 minutes out," he said.
Last year, TfL made real-time tube travel information available to developers using Microsoft's Azure platform.
Barclay welcomes TfL's moves to open data: "TfL is an exemplary model and at the forefront of open data in transport." However, he is less complementary about some other public sector organisations that have yet to open their data.
"Change is coming, but we need some strong policy from government on open data. For example, the Royal Mail has resisted to open up its postcode data, as has the Ordinance Survey [regarding some of its mapping information]. They are sitting on a wealth of information the public has paid for and which could be useful to them," he added.
To access TfL's real-time information visit TfL Developers Area or London Data Store.
Photo by njtrout_2000 on Flickr