Rail Radar - An interactive map that allows users to watch the movements of trains that are currently running in India. This means that you can now know the status of your trains live! Rail Radar is a real time tracker of the Indian Railways passenger trains. This live tracker is shown on our very own Google Maps and this long awaited system is a result of a collaboration between the CRIS - Center for Railway Information System and RailYatri.in.
Since this is a live tracking system of the Indian Railways, a few questions that will pop up in the minds who have ever travelled by railways will be - "Is this system really reliable? Is the data accurate? Can I trust the Rail Radar?" Well, the system is reliable and you can trust the data since the information and intelligence behind the Rail Radar is extracted and harnessed from volumes of data from the official Indian Railway's train running operational data. With regards to accuracy – this is fairly accurate in the normal running scenarios. However, there are several factors that can affect a train while it is on its route. Weather, breakdowns, congestions, local control-office directives, and more. RailRadar tries to continuously update this information. However, since the data on the Radar is displayed few minutes later than the actual, the tourists should double check the train running information using the traditional train status search mechanism – also offered by TrainEnquiry.com
At present the Rail Radar is configured to refresh every 5 minutes. For security and regulatory reasons, the information published on the Rail Radar is delayed by 5 or more minutes. Apart from this, the system has to do a lot of data crunching before the data is updated on the map. This to contributes to the delay.
The Rail Radar system has a really cool feature in it. If the system is able to capture the location of the request based on the IP, then the Google Map that is used in the system pans to that location. Now; isn't that cool? So, if you are in Pune, then chances are that when you open up Rail Radar in your browser, you will be taken to Pune, which happens to be a junction in Maharashtra state. It also shows the number of trains that are currently active and also the percentage of trains that are delayed.
Well my take on the entire application...
- The Indian Railways needed just such a kind of system, since India has got the largest network of railways in Asia.
- This system is really a big boon to the frequent train travellers, who have experienced the agony of waiting for delayed trains at railway stations.
- The application makes use of really cool Google Maps Satellite view and shows train icons as map markers.
- Clicking on the train icon, shows you the details of the particular train and a simple mouse over gives you the name of the train you are looking at.
Train Details - On Mouse-over
Train Details - On Click
- The User Interface(UI) of the application is not so good, and with 2 big adds at the bottom and bottom-right will be a big turn off for visitors.
- Overall a very good and much required application for the people travelling by railways in India.