The Transit App Trying to Beat Google and Apple at Mobile Mapping

Transit App, which helps users plan their commutes by showing them the nearest public-transit options and real-time arrivals and departures, has come up with its own map using a special algorithm created by Dubrau. The maps are available 55 cities, including New York City, Paris, and Australia; the app is available for use in 125 cities*.  Dubrau’s algorithm makes maps a little clearer—for example, recognizing when multiple transit lines run along the same street, even if they’re headed to different stops. That way, the lines can be drawn parallel to one another—a process, he says, that took months to perfect. Smoothed-out curves, he adds, not only keep those lines parallel, but also make the map appear more like the ones public transit agencies hand out.“Google and Apple to me are kind of the Swiss Army knives of mapping. And we think that urban transportation and public transit in particular is complex enough to warrant a dedicated application,” he says. “Transit is not an afterthought.”