I know, I know, long time no see. But, this had a reason. The last few months I worked very hard on the project "Bim Bim". It's a departure monitor for the local transportation company "Linz AG Linien". Now, please note that I am in no way affiliated with them, it just happens that I live here and they open-sourced their live monitoring system.

So? What is Bim Bim, exactly?

Well, I'd say that I'm a heavy user of the Linz AG Linien services. This means, that I almost always know, which bus I have to take, I just don't know when the next one arrives at my current station. Bim Bim let's you select your current location and then shows you all the departures from this station. This way you can decide if you'll have to hurry or if you have enough time to go for a quick snack.

The name. It's stupid.

Haha! Yes, one might think so. "Bim" means tramway in upper-austrian-language. So, the name actually makes some sense :-)

Why did you do that?

First, of course, out of self interest. I really wanted to know if I have to run or don't. I'm lazy.
Second, it was just the perfect opportunity. Linz AG released their API and the city council started an contest on the best App for Linz (Apps4Linz).

Behind the scenes

The App is made in Javascript (thanks to zepto.js and jQTouch and various extensions). Of course there is a lot of CSS3 and HTML5 trickery in it.
Sadly, there are small bits of php code on the server. The Linz AG API isn't really designed for mobile devices (personally I don't think it is designed for anything at all, but that's another story. If you want more info on that, write a nice comment and I might post another blog post about it) so I wrote a small "proxy" script, which fetches the needed information and strips it down to save some bytes.
The map is done with OpenStreetMap support. The tiles I use are from the OpenCycleMap project, as they include all the bus-routes.

More to come

I have some more features on my todo-list, but let's see what time brings. Oh, and btw, I'm happy for any kind of feedback!


To "install" the app, or rather bookmarking it, feel free to head over to bim-bim.at/app.