New app for planning days out in Bristol launches

A new app enabled by Bristol City Council has been launched.

Developed through an initiative set up by the council’s City Innovation team, the Tiny Tours app uses open data to provide an easy and quick way of planning activities with little ones.

The app features a variety of fun activities and ideas for days out in Bristol targeted at families combined with live travel timings taken from open data made available by the council. The app makes it easier to organise visits in advance and on the move.

Blue Sparrow Apps were the winners of the first Open Data Challenge Event organised by the council in January where they developed their interactive guide for families. The engagement workshop encouraged attendees to make use of a new API (application programming interface) created for the council by UrbanThings, the company behind the council’s BusChecker app.

The API provides developers, app makers, web designers and other people interested in city data with access to a wealth of transport data such as live bus and train times, stop locations and route maps, all of which can be accessed from the API portal. Gaining access to this rich real-time data enabled Blue Sparrow Apps to create a user-friendly resource for families and their tiny tourists.

The app has two main filters; Places which covers Parks, Free and Rainy; and Tours which features ideas for days out with names such as Culture and Cows and Country re-TREAT. The Tours section also displays the amount of time recommended at each attraction and gives a rough idea of costs (‘Not much’ or ‘Quite a bit’) as well as showing journey planning information for traveling on foot, by bus, train or car.

Stephen Hilton, director of Bristol City Council’s Bristol Futures team, said: “It’s fantastic to see an idea become a prototype and then be transformed into a handy tool to help people in Bristol explore the city by public transport or by car. Tiny Tours is a great example of how bringing together digital talent in Bristol with open data pioneers such as UrbanThings can produce a brilliant resource that benefits our citizens.”

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