Regional Vehicle Finder - Open Toppers.....
I hope the group mods won't mind this post which may help some of you track down in-service open toppers.
So, a quick introduction... I'm Simon and I am part of the team that runs London Vehicle Finder (LVF) and Regional Vehicle Finder (RVF). LVF has been running since September 2012 using TfL Open Data and late last year we started working on RVF using the DfT's Bus Open Data Service (BODS). All registered bus services in England (not including London) were required to provide data to BODS from January this year, Stagecoach have kindly included their Welsh and Scottish ops but the other big groups have chosen not to.
We are still testing RVF but it is useable at "https://rvf.test.lvf.io/#RVF". Today we've made available a command within RVF that will list all the open toppers that we are aware of that have or are appearing in the BODS data.
If you launch RVF in your browser, using the link above, you just need to type either "List otop" or it's shortcode abbreviation "zot", without the quotes, into RVF's query box and click the 'Go' button. RVF should return something along the lines of the screen below:
(When more than one operator is returned by the query as is the case here, ignore the erroneous destinations shown. We're working to fix this, it works OK for single operator queries like those shown below).
You can break down the output further by prepending the search query with an operator code (for a list of the operator codes we use, please click the 'help' button on the RVF screen). Below we've searched for Stagecoach South West (DG) and below that Stagecoach East Kent (EK).
("Big Beach Bus" & "East Kent" as shown here are the overall adverts/liveries the vehicles wear and not the actual registration.)
Tip: Hovering the cursor over the operator 'oper' codes will show the full operator name.
When the relevant vehicles are in service (and reporting through BODS) we provide the next stop names and ETAs (although due to the time of day I'm drafting this there aren't any in service that I'm aware of which is why it's not shown in the screenshots!). If a vehicle is shown with a next stop name of something like "loc = 50991298 and 0888791", it means we haven't been able to match it's location to the timetable. When a vehicle is in service, clicking on it's registration (or the advert/livery name if shown) will produce a list of next stops and ETAs for that vehicle.