This section is pretty comprehensive and covers all of the standards and protocols Cloud Amber uses. Needless to say, Cloud Amber is fully compliant to UTMC and other industry related protocols, standards and best practices.
Launched in 1997, the UTMC programme was the UK Department for Transport (DfT) main initiative for the development of a more open approach to Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) in urban areas. During the first three years, a number of research projects were undertaken to establish and validate an approach based on modular systems and open standards. These have contributed to the UTMC Technical Specifications, which define UTMC standards.
In January 2001, the programme embarked on its demonstrator phase to consolidate the results of the earlier research. Preston, Reading, Stratford-upon-Avon and York have implemented, in a pragmatic way, full scale demonstrator projects based on the UTMC approach.
The primary intention of UTMC Technical Specification is to facilitate the interoperability of modules in a Traffic Management System, and between such systems and external parties.
Cloud Amber use UTMC compliant interfaces throughout the product range. In addition to this standard, we are actively looking to how the standard can be expanded and improved in line with modern communication techniques and object interoperable protocols.
The Travel Information Highway (TIH) community publishes a set of Principles for exchanging travel information. The National Traffic Control Centre (NTCC) has a TIH Publisher conforming to these Principles to make Highways Agency data on the English trunk road network available to third parties.
This interface uses CORBA to deliver data over the Internet. The data is presented and described by an Interface Definition Language (IDL) file for use by the client during development.
TIH Principles primarily recommend XML services delivered using HTTP. Where these are for OTAP or DATEX2 services, for instance, data is converted at source following the relevant schemas.
Cloud Amber are working with TIH to implement the CORBA interface in to the UTMC common database. This will allow highways and urban information to be available to the user without having to refer to multiple sites or information sources. We believe this system integration is key to the success of any project.
The EBU commissioned B/TPEG, to undertake the open development of this technology in 1998 and the work was completed in 2002. The B/TPEG Group - comprising broadcasting, electronics and IT, media and TTI industries - worked under the EBU open specifications policy. They have also been adopted by CEN/ISO as Technical Specifications.
Cloud Amber is able to receive and process all tpegML data and insert it into any common database as part of our adaptor offering. Additionally, Cloud Amber will publish in SOAP and HTTP formats all the information available in the common database to the tpegML standard xxxx.
This feed will enable broadcasters or any other 3rd party to receive the latest Voyager information using DAB data transmission, CEEFAX, interactive TV, radio and television bulletins and other traffic portals.
Transmodel is a public transport reference data model that has underpinned almost all developments of data standards within the UK in recent years and was approved as a European Reference Standard in early 2006. Cloud Amber use this standard to underpin the models and objects that sit behind the systems designed and developed.
Having designed and implemented NaPTAN as part of a previous company, Cloud Amber Cloud Amber Research and Development is well versed in using and interpreting the national stop database standard.
Cloud Amber is able to import, process and insert/update/delete data in to the common database for all bus, coach and tram stops, bus and train stations, taxi and shared taxi ranks and ferry and air terminals.
Cloud Amber will be integrating in to our system the use of the NPTG data. This will allow users another level of navigation and filter for the information being displayed.
This data provided in simple XML schemas can also be easily processed and inserted in to the common database for other systems to use and reference.
This gazetteer is currently being integrated in to our Carbon Calculator to allow travellers to calculate their distances using real places rather than simply entering the distance travelled.
The use of distributed journey planners to deliver a national information service required a standard protocol for journey planning enquiries and responses to be exchanged between systems. JourneyWeb has been adopted as a British de-facto standard, which underpins the operation of the Transport Direct journey planning service.
Cloud Amber will interface with Transport Directs Journey Web Service to provide the journey planning service explained earlier in this specification. This will be implemented to JourneyWeb 2.1.1 and Cloud Amber will guarantee to be compatible with Transport Direct. Alternatively, if integration to any local journey planner is preferred, then this can also be assured.
RTIG (Real Time Information Group) was established in 2000 to provide a focus for all those involved in UK bus RTI. RTIG has a wide membership drawn from UK local authorities, bus operators and system suppliers, with representatives from Government and other key industry groups.
Cloud Amber is very familiar with RTIG and the industry. We have in the past helped to define the standards and then implement them. With real world experience with RTIG XML, TransXChange, Local and Strategic Traffic Light Priority, At Stop Clear Down and others, we can interface with RTIG standards and standards more generally to ensure they are useful, work in the real world and provide the open features and interoperability the industry strives for.
It is currently impossible to plan a journey by Public Transport properly as the data is not available. People need to be able to look at the cost of their journeys in terms of both ££££, time and the carbon footprint. This will become more and more important when the Government imposes Road User Charging. Equally now that Public Transport Authorities are opening up to the idea that road users need information this puts them in a unique position to give quality information in order to influence behaviour.
People do not know the cost of a journey until they either get on the bus or arrive at the station because the fare data is not currently integrated with the schedules.
It has been recognised for some time that there is no accepted standard (national or international) for the general exchange of fares and ticketing information. Cloud Amber is working with industry partners to improve this situation for all concerned.
Cloud Amber strongly believes in the unification of RTIG, UTMC, TPEG, CEN SIRI and other transport related data interchanges. Uniting the data structures, types and other related data values means developers and systems can talk across the board understanding the same language and interfaces.
We will be using all of our experience in this field to try and achieve a more coherent common approach to transportation standards, rather than the traditional silos of highways, urban traffic, trains, buses and media. We believe an integrated transportation system can only be helped and assisted by using this approach.
Throughout the IT industry there are a dizzying array of standards and protocols. Some have their advantages and disadvantages. The skill in implementing systems is choosing the right one for your application. This is why Cloud Amber have carefully selected a key set of standards groups, bodies and protocols to build and develop our products to. The standards range from relatively small and specialised parts to protocols that power the internet itself.
Internet Protocol (IP) is a data-oriented protocol used for communicating data across a packet-switched internetwork.
IP is a network layer protocol in the internet protocol suite and is encapsulated in a data link layer protocol (e.g., Ethernet). As a lower layer protocol, IP provides the service of communicable unique global addressing.
Cloud Amber predominantly use the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) as it is one of the core protocols of the Internet protocol suite, often simply referred to as TCP/IP. Using TCP, applications on networked hosts can create connections to one another, over which they can exchange streams of data using Stream Sockets. The protocol guarantees reliable and in-order delivery of data from sender to receiver. TCP also distinguishes data for multiple connections by concurrent applications (e.g., Web server and e-mail server) running on the same host.
TCP supports many of the Internet's most popular application protocols and resulting applications, including the World Wide Web, e-mail, File Transfer Protocol and Secure Shell.
Sometimes TCP carries too much overhead and the quality of the data transmission is not as important as bandwidth. In these scenarios Cloud Amber turns to the use of the User Datagram Protocol (UDP). This is also one of the core protocols of the Internet protocol suite. Using UDP, programmes on networked computers can send short messages sometimes known as datagrams (using Datagram Sockets) to one another. UDP is sometimes called the Universal Datagram Protocol or Unreliable Datagram Protocol.
UDP does not provide the reliability and ordering that TCP does. Datagrams may arrive out of order, appear duplicated, or go missing without notice. Without the overhead of checking whether every packet actually arrived, UDP is faster and more efficient for many lightweight or time-sensitive purposes. Also, its stateless nature is useful for servers that answer small queries from huge numbers of clients. Compared to TCP, UDP is required for broadcast (send to all on local network) and multicast (send to all subscribers).
Common network applications that use UDP include the Domain Name System (DNS), streaming media applications such as IPTV, Voice over IP (VoIP), Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) and online games.
Cloud Amber will use UDP in the broadcast of streaming video and audio messages to clients over the internet.
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the main international standards organisation for the World Wide Web (W3). It is arranged as a consortium where member organisations maintain full-time staff for the purpose of working together in the development of standards for the W3. As of March 2007, the W3C had 441 members. It is always open for new organizations to join.
W3C also engages in education and outreach, develops software and serves as an open forum for discussion about the Web.
Cloud Amber subscribe and use a number of W3C standards in the development of the internal and user facing systems. They are (and not limited to) the following:
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a method used to transfer or convey information on the World Wide Web. Its original purpose was to provide a way to publish and retrieve HTML pages.
FTP or File Transfer Protocol is used to transfer data from one computer to another over the Internet, or through a network.
SOAP is a protocol for exchanging XML-based messages over computer networks, normally using HTTP. SOAP forms the foundation layer of the Web services stack, providing a basic messaging framework that more abstract layers can build on.
Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a general-purpose markup language. Its primary purpose is to facilitate the sharing of data across different information systems, particularly via the Internet.
Object Management Group (OMG) is a consortium, originally aimed at setting standards for distributed object-oriented systems, and is now focused on modelling (programs, systems and business processes) and model-based standards in some 20 vertical markets. Founded in 1989 by eleven companies (including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Sun Microsystems, Apple Computer, American Airlines and Data General), OMG mobilized to create a heterogeneous distributed object standard. The goal was a common portable and interoperable object model with methods and data that work using all types of development environments on all types of platforms.
Cloud Amber subscribe and use a number of OMG standards in the development of the internal and user facing systems. They are (and not limited to) the following:
CORBA “wraps” programme code into a bundle containing information about the capabilities of the code and how to invoke it. The wrapped objects can then be invoked from other programs or CORBA objects across a network.
CORBA uses an interface definition language (IDL) to specify the interfaces that objects will present to the world. CORBA then specifies a “mapping” from IDL to a specific implementation language like C++ or Java.
In the field of software engineering, the Unified Modelling Language (UML) is a standardised specification language for object modelling. UML is a general-purpose modelling language that includes a graphical notation used to create an abstract model of a system, referred to as a UML model.
UML is not restricted to modelling software. UML is also used for business process modelling, systems engineering modelling, and representing organisational structures. The Systems Modelling Language (SysML) is a Domain-Specific Modelling language for systems engineering that is defined as a UML 2.0 profile.
UML has been a catalyst for the evolution of model-driven technologies, which include Model Driven Development (MDD), Model Driven Engineering (MDE), and Model Driven Architecture (MDA). By establishing an industry consensus on a graphic notation to represent common concepts like classes, components, generalization, aggregation, and behaviors, UML has allowed software developers to concentrate more on design and architecture.
The Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo), is a non-profit non-governmental organisation whose mission is to support and promote the collaborative development of open geospatial technologies and data. The foundation was formed in February 2006 to provide financial, organisational and legal support to the broader Free and open source geospatial community. It will also serve as an independent legal entity to which community members can contribute code, funding and other resources, secure in the knowledge that their contributions will be maintained for public benefit.
OSGeo draws governance inspiration from several aspects of the Apache Foundation, including a membership composed of individuals drawn from foundation projects who are selected for membership status based on their active contribution to foundation projects and governance.
Its projects include MapBuilder, GeoTools, Mapbender, MapGuide Open Source, MapServer, GDAL/OGR, GeoNetwork opensource, GRASS GIS, OpenLayers, OSSIM GIS, FDO and Quantum GIS.
OSGeo also promotes more open access to government produced geospatial data and completely free geodata such as is created and maintained by the OpenStreetMap project.
Cloud Amber subscribes and use a number of OSGeo standards in the development of the internal and user facing systems. They are (and not limited to) the following:
An OGC Web Map Service (WMS) produces maps of spatially referenced data dynamically from geographic information. This international standard defines a "map" to be a portrayal of geographic information as a digital image file suitable for display on a computer screen. A map is not the data itself. WMS-produced maps are generally rendered in a pictorial format such as PNG, GIF or JPEG, or occasionally as vector-based graphical elements in Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) or Web Computer Graphics Metafile (WebCGM) formats.
Web Feature Service Interface Standard (WFS) is an interface allowing requests for geographical features across the web using platform-independent calls. Geographical features can be thought of as the 'source code' behind a map, where as the WMS interface or online mapping portals like Google Maps return only an image, which can not be edited or spatially analysed. The XML-based GML is the default payload encoding for transporting the geographic features, but other formats like shapefiles can also be used for transport. In early 2006, the OGC members approved the OpenGIS GML Simple Features Profile. This profile is designed to both increase interoperability between WFS servers and to improve the ease of implementation of the WFS standard.
The OGC membership defined and maintains the WFS specification. There are numerous commercial and open source implementations of the WFS interface standard, including a Open Source WFS reference implementation, called GeoServer. A comprehensive list of WFS implementations can be found at the OGC Implementing Products page.
Voice Extensible Markup Language (VoiceXML) is a markup language for creating voice user interfaces that use automatic speech recognition (ASR) and text-to-speech synthesis (TTS). AT&T, IBM, Lucent and Motorola founded the VoiceXML Forum, a global industry organisation, in March, 1999 to promote and to accelerate the adoption of VoiceXML-based applications worldwide. More than 10,000 commercial VoiceXML-based speech applications have been deployed across a diverse set of industries, including financial services, government, insurance, retail, telecommunications, transportation, travel and hospitality.
The VoiceXML community is actively supporting standards bodies and industry consortia, such as the W3C and IETF, as they work on VoiceXML and related standards, such as CCXML, X+V, and MRCP.
Version 1.0 of the VoiceXML specification was delivered to the W3C in May 2000. Today, the W3C has published both Version 2.0 and 2.1 of the VoiceXML specification as final “Recommendations.” A W3C Recommendation is the equivalent of a Web standard. The W3C, with input from the VoiceXML Forum and the industry at large, is currently working on Version 3.0 of the VoiceXML specification.
VoiceXML is the only XML-based speech language specification to receive the W3C’s Final Recommendation. VoiceXML simplifies speech application development by permitting developers to use familiar Web infrastructure, tools and techniques. VoiceXML also enables distributed application design by separating each application’s user interaction layer from its service logic. Most developers find VoiceXML application development at least three times faster than development in traditional interactive voice response (IVR) environments and so VoiceXML has been widely adopted within the speech industry.
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