Quantcast

Jump to content




Photo

Amtrak.com API?


5 replies to this topic

#1 DowneasterPassenger

DowneasterPassenger

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 345 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portland Maine
  • Interests:Amtrak trains, Amtrak history, Amtrak Guest Rewards, Amtrak politics, Amtrak food, Amtrak stations, Amtrak photography, Amtrak model railroads.

Posted 28 May 2010 - 09:30 AM

I'm wondering about 3rd party sites like Amtrak Delays and Amtrak Status Maps.

Do they make use of an API to get that information or "scrape" the Amtrak.com web site?

I thought about trying to write a program that can search for fares, but I wouldn't want to violate the TOU if I tried it:

Code of Conduct
While using the Site, Materials and/or Software, you agree not to:...

Use any robot, spider, site search/retrieval application or other manual or automatic device or process to retrieve, index, “data mine” or in any way reproduce or circumvent the navigational structure or presentation of the Site or its contents;


I suppose you would need a business relationship with Amtrak to develop an idea like that. Or is there some other API that I am not aware of?

Thanks!

#2 PRR 60

PRR 60

    Engineer

  • Forum Manager
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,988 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 28 May 2010 - 09:53 AM

I believe the amtrakdelays site uses an automated data retriever, but only gets the specific data that a user requests. If you ask for #4 arriving ABQ, it goes to amtrak.com and gets the five available days of data for #4 at ABQ, and that's it. It saves that data, so if a few days later another #4 ABQ request is made, it gets the new data, and also has the older data stored so it can now show more than five days.

The site does not go to amtrak.com and pull all data everyday. Since they are no more of a burden on amtrak.com than a normal user asking for the arrival data on amtrak.com, they hope Amtrak leaves them alone. So far, that has worked.

#3 DowneasterPassenger

DowneasterPassenger

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 345 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portland Maine
  • Interests:Amtrak trains, Amtrak history, Amtrak Guest Rewards, Amtrak politics, Amtrak food, Amtrak stations, Amtrak photography, Amtrak model railroads.

Posted 28 May 2010 - 09:57 AM

I believe the amtrakdelays site uses an automated data retriever, but only gets the specific data that a user requests. If you ask for #4 arriving ABQ, it goes to amtrak.com and gets the five available days of data for #4 at ABQ, and that's it. It saves that data, so if a few days later another #4 ABQ request is made, it gets the new data, and also has the older data stored so it can now show more than five days.

The site does not go to amtrak.com and pull all data everyday. Since they are no more of a burden on amtrak.com than a normal user asking for the arrival data on amtrak.com, they hope Amtrak leaves them alone. So far, that has worked.


Thousands of Robot calls to Julie? :lol:

#4 DowneasterPassenger

DowneasterPassenger

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 345 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portland Maine
  • Interests:Amtrak trains, Amtrak history, Amtrak Guest Rewards, Amtrak politics, Amtrak food, Amtrak stations, Amtrak photography, Amtrak model railroads.

Posted 28 May 2010 - 10:08 AM

Use any robot, spider, site search/retrieval application or other manual or automatic device or process to retrieve, index, “data mine” or in any way reproduce or circumvent the navigational structure or presentation of the Site or its contents;


IANAL but that seems a bit strange. If I manually access the Amtrak.com web site and get fare info for 5 days in a row, and copy and paste that data to a spreahsheet, then I'm manually retrieving and indexing.

If I paid 30 minimum wage employees in a third world country to do it full time, that would be another thing.

#5 RyanS

RyanS

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,000 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:OTN
  • Interests:a fact checker combined with a ferret

Posted 28 May 2010 - 12:13 PM

I'm curious about this as well, I'd like to start scraping the MARC Tracker (http://www.marctrack...iew/status.html) and compiling on-time stats.
TrainSig.jpg

#6 John Bobinyec

John Bobinyec

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 655 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:CYN

Posted 28 May 2010 - 04:04 PM

I'd personally prefer to answer this offline. Send me a note.

John Bobinyec
jgb@dbd01.com

Amtrak Status Maps



Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users