Frequently Asked Questions
OpenTransportNet is a European co-funded project running from February 2014 until February 2017, under the grant agreement number 620533. More information about the vision, objectives, project partners and deliverables can be found on our project website.
OpenTransportNet provides different services on the platform:
- Access to geo and non geo data in transport
- A map composition tool to gather data insights in transport
- A community section where development challenges can be posted and rewarded
- Advanced (big) data visualizations in transport through web interfaces
- Access to open APIs and open source components
- A list of applications made by OTN, including crowdsourcing tools
At the home page of the main central OTN Hub, you click “Register” in the upper right corner. You can register through your Facebook account, or through a standalone OTN account. Fill in your personal details, choose a password and indicate which City Hub you would like to use standard.If your local City Hub is not yet in the list, please choose the main central OTN Hub.
Would you like to join the OTN network? Register as a new user on the main central OTN Hub, and fill in the application form to express your interest. The OTN team will get in personal contact with you to discuss further details.
If you are interested in joining the OTN network, please fill in the application form and we will get in touch with you. You can already read our OTN quick start manual to have an overview of steps for setting up your own City Hub.
The customization parameters will be discussed in full detail, when we get in personal touch with you. To already give you an idea, you are able to implement your city branding, logo, colour scheme, pictures on the home page, intro text on the home page, text in specific menus, language, etc. If your language is not yet available on the OTN platform, then new translations will have to be imported with your help.
Do you need any advice from an expert? Open data, GIS and mobility experts are available for contact on the central OTN Hub, in the section “Business support”.
Fill in the contact sheet on the platform, and an OTN representative will get in touch with you!
Managing your account
You can reset your password by choosing ‘Forgot password’ in the Register menu. Fill in your email address with which you registered. A new password will be send to your email account.
If you are signed in, you can manage your account details by clicking on your name or profile picture in the upper right corner. In this menu you can set your profile picture, and manage other user details. The preferred City Hub can be changed by this functionality, by pressing the last tab “Custom Fields”.
You can choose your language in the upper right corner. This is still in beta-testing phase.
The supported file formats are geoJSON, WMS, KML, CSV, XLS and XLSX. GeoJSON, KML and WMS are directly stored in the Hub and available in the map compositions. These formats are a standard way of representing geographic data structures, and therefore need no processing. CSV, XLS and XLSX files have to meet certain restrictions in order to be stored in the Hub.
The required properties of these CSV, XLS and XLSX files are:
- Data must be preceded by column headers
- Data must contain geographical information, e.g. the coordinates of the described resources
- For excel files, the data have to be present in the first sheet of the file which has to be named ‘sheet1’.
Navigate to the ‘My Contributions’ menu and select the ‘Datasets’ tab. This will bring up a form to fill in datasets details. You can choose to either upload a file, or to link from existing repositories. If you link files, then these files will be kept up-to-date with the original source. The required fields are Title, File/Link, Format and the Notes. These are necessary in order to create a proper metadata record of the dataset. If the dataset is successfully uploaded, a success message is displayed and a link to the dataset details page is provided.
A metadata record is stored for each uploaded or linked dataset in the back-end of the Hub. The metadata allows to discover and retrieve the datasets. The metadata standard used in OpenTransportNet is GeoDCAT-AP.
Creating a map composition, or a data visualization, is provided by the “Explore Maps” button on the home page of the OTN Hub. By clicking on “Explore maps”, the map composition tool opens with on the right hand side your city location in OpenStreetMap, and on the left hand side the main menu buttons:
This menu item displays a list of available map compositions filtered by the map extent (or location). You are also able to filter your compositions, by clicking “only mine”.
This menu item manages the base layer and the added data layers(map content) by the user on the map. You can choose the base layer, either topographic or satellite. You are able to style the added data layers.
This menu item shows the list of available Hub layers (data sources) to be added on the map. You can also add an external data source(WMS, KML or GeoJSON) here. External data sources will not be saved on the OTN Hub for the further usage by other users, however they can be saved as a part of your composition.
This menu item saves the composition that you made. Fill in a name, abstract and decide whether or not you want to make it accessible to the public.
You can add data by clicking the “Add layers” button in the left side menu. A list of available layers will appear. The data is filtered by the extent of the location range in the map window, or by keyword. By clicking on the “MORE” button, advanced filtering options will appear. Hovering with a cursor over the map window highlights the data in the list of data layers in blue. You add the data to the map by clicking the “+” button. The content is displayed on the map, and the menu tab automatically changes from “Add layers” to “Manage and Style Layers”.
You can delete a data layer in the menu “Manage and Style Layers”. In the added map content, you click on one layer and more information will appear. The ‘trash’ icon removes the layer from the map.
You can select/deselect a data layer in the menu “Manage and Style Layers”. In the added map content, there is the ‘view’ icon to hide or show added data layers.
You can style your data layers in the menu “Manage and Style Layers”. You can see more information about the added layer by clicking on the name of the layer. There are different options to style a layer:
- You can change the opacity of the layer
- In the MORE section, there is a magnifier that stands for “zoom to layer’
- In the MORE section, you can change the name of the layer by clicking the icon with letter “A”
- In the MORE section, the toolkit icon stands for the visualization options. Depending on the type of data (point, line, polygon), the attributes of the graphical features can be changed (line width, line colour, fill colour, point icon).
- In the MORE section, the ‘trash’ icon removes the layer from the map.
You can style your data layers in the menu “Manage and Style Layers”. In the MORE section, the toolkit icon stands for the visualization options
- Styling a point: there are two features to style a point, either through an icon or through a circle. A list of available icons appears, you can choose the icon, the icon colour and line colour. For a circle, you can also choose the colours, radius and line width.
- Styling a line: You can choose the line colour and line width.
- Styling a polygon: You can choose the fill-in colour, line colour and line width.
You can save your map composition by clicking on the “Save Composition” button. The name of the composition and the abstract of the composition should be filled in. To make a map composition available for all users, tick the “Make public” box. In the ADVANCED options, the keywords (suitable for searching the data) and extent of the map composition are defined. After clicking “SAVE”, you will get a message that your composition has been successfully saved. Do not forget that you need to be signed in for saving compositions.
You can share your composition by clicking the “Map Composition” button. In the list of available compositions, you choose the “Share” icon to share the map composition through a link. This link can be easily shared via social networks or can be embedded into a web page (also possible within an iframe tag). The link leads back to the OTN platform showing the map composition.
Apps and Services
Apps and Services provides a space where developers can upload their apps and services related to the posted development challenges, components and/or plugins that make use of OTN datasets, map compositions, extensions to existing OTN tools and APIs. A details page is provided for each service or app, and a user is able to ask a question or to make a comment on how to get more information for the setup and use of the service or app provided.
To add a service or an app, you should be signed in. On the home page of the OTN Hub, click “Apps and Services”, where there is a button to “Add Your Service” or "Add your App". A form will appear in which service or app fields have to be filled in order to publish it on the Hub.
On the home page of the OTN Hub, click “Developer challenges”. This section provides an overview of challenges per city hub. The challenges area is the place where individual users or city administrators can post development challenges, i.e. posting ideas based on certain dataset on the OTN Hub and request the development of services and/or applications that do not yet exist. Users, with the required skills, can respond to the challenge and be rewarded with a price(e.g. voucher, money prize). Development challenges can generate innovation by extending existing businesses or transforming ideas into new businesses.
Users can explore the already posted challenges and respond to one of them. By pressing the “Respond” button in the challenges view or in the details page of a challenge, a developer can contact the provider of the challenge. By responding to a developer challenge, a user can be rewarded with a prize.
On the home page of the OTN Hub, click the “Developer tools” button. This section provides information to developers who want to reuse the data, OTN tools and APIs. This page also includes links to the project’s GitHub page where the source code of components can be found.
On the home page of the OTN Hub, click the “My contributions” button. Here, you can manage your datasets, challenges, services and map compositions. Every page provides edit and delete rights to the relevant contributions.
The City Hub administrators have a privileged role that allows editing of all datasets, services, applications and challenges. City administrations can also manage datasets that belong to the city and which can be potentially harvested from the existing city data portal.