NXTBDY.tech is a hyper-local social network for commuters on Transport Canberra - a super focused Facebook just for people on the same bus (or eventually tram). It's a mobile app that allows commuters to meet, socialise, collaborate and stay up to date on local news during their daily commute.
Using the NXTBUS data api from the ACT Government we can determine the location of all buses on the network and combine with the location of a user to determine a private social network just for those passengers. In addition we've grabbed interesting facts from the census data to interject into the conversation thread as the bus moves through Canberra (for instance, showing the percentage of people that did chores in a suburb as the bus enters the suburb). This provides a conversation starter for commuters (breaking the ice if you will). Finally, we added the ACT Government News Feed into the app, so that commuters could stay informed whilst on the go.
In future the platform could be extended to reward public transport use, possibility in a gamified style. Commuters could earn different awards or achievements, which could be redeemed for discounts, reductions on road use taxes, car registration, or compulsory third party insurances.
Like last year, we’ve taken an agile approach to development, committing fully to DevOps. Whilst there is a small overhead in establishing the development environment in this way, it really pays off when you’re tired and cranky on the Saturday night and you don’t have to worry about builds or version control mismatches. Sneakernet sounds a lot more fun than it is, and source control is one thing we were not willing to skimp on.