Minnerva, working with Nesstar Ltd, has developed and implemented a web-enabled Data Dissemination System for Transport for London.

This system, called Romulus, is designed to support TfL’s Group Transport Planning and Policy department in making more accessible the extensive sets of transport data for London that the team manages. Romulus offers an important means of getting full value from over a dozen major data sets, including the London Area Travel Survey (LATS), regular bus passenger surveys (GLBPS), and derived information such as PTALS accessibility data. The data is accessible to TfL as well as other registered users among London’s transport planning community.

Romulus is built upon a customised-off-the-shelf software solution provided by Nesstar. This software enables users to query, analyse and disseminate both processed statistical multidimensional data (aggregated data), and survey data (disaggregated data), as well as many other digital information assets such as images or documents.

A particular characteristic of the software is its support for a rich DDI-compliant metadata structure. This provides information to users that gives context and guidance to those unfamiliar with the data being accessed. Users include TfL’s corporate departments, business units and major project joint-venture teams, and other stakeholders including the Greater London Authority and London Boroughs.

Minnerva used its knowledge of working with transport data to give attention to supporting TfL in providing metadata that is valued by users, and creating an efficient channel using the Nesstar Publisher software for data to be extracted, transformed, and loaded onto the Romulus web site.

The project has also added GIS mapping capabilities, using MapInfo’s MapXtreme software, to complement the capabilities of Nesstar. This makes Romulus a tool that will interest many users of transport data, whether occasional or regular, as well as policy analysts and technical specialists.

(Contact: Miles Logie)