One of Trufi’s Most Popular Apps Began as a Student Mapping Project
Duitama is a city of more than 112,000 people in central Colombia – in the Boyacá Department. The BusBoy journey planner app is named after the buses of Boyacá.
There are three competing bus operators in Duitama (Heroes, Tundama, and Tures) but there is no official published public data source with the routes and schedules of the three companies. The data used by BusBoy was developed and consolidated by a bunch of students trained to use OpenStreetMap (OSM).
Over a period of more than 10 years, successive cohorts of students of the Colegio Salesiano in Duitama – ages 8 to 16 – have been continually mapping, refining, and expanding the public transport data available to the people of Duitama via BusBoy.
- Complete door-to-door navigation – not limited to a single bus company
- Suggestion of alternative routes
- Localized in Spanish, Quechua, English, and German
- Save favorite searches
- Uses GPS to show the user’s position on the map
- Show routes by car, if no bus routes are available
- Choose from several itineraries the best plan for your needs
- Demand driven: Users can report routes missing from OpenStreetMap
Under the guidance of Prof. Leonardo Gutierrez, students began mapping the city in 2010, and publishing the data to OpenStreetMap. In 2019 Gutierrez and the students began looking for a way to turn this multi-year mapping achievement into an app that all the residents of Duitama could use.
He initially investigated some proprietary solutions to create the app they envisioned, but the estimates were in excess of $10,000, more than they could afford.
Serendipitously, as Gutierrez was looking for an app solution, Trufi Association had just released its code as open source – the code base for the original Trufi app for Cochabamba, Bolivia. Gutierrez reached out to Trufi Association, and it was a perfect fit.
The collaboration with Trufi Association began and the app launched launched by the end of 2019. Within a few months, the app had thousands of installations, and many five-star reviews. The mayor of Duitama, Alfonso Miguel Silva Pesca said that no other Colombian municipality of the same category had a journey planner app such as BusBoy.
Gutierrez’ students are now mapping routes beyond the city limits of Duitama, and plan to map the entire Boyacá Department, which will expand the reach of the app.