ArcheoFOSS 2022
Using modern standards in the past - HTFS

Marco Montanari
Open History Map, Bologna, Italy

Lorenzo Gigli
Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy

Panel: Moving in the past: open solutions for data set design, spatial analysis and (spatial) statistical methods to investigate movement in Antiquity

Since 1290 regular movement between cities and towns became relevant, as Amodeo Tasso’s Compagnia dei Corrieri started delivering post between Rome, Venice and Milan. For this reason and for more recent situations we started analyzing what could be transformed into GTFS (General Transit Feed Specification []) from the various forms of documented transportation that were available in the past. Trains have been moving on timetables since 1839, buses since 1829, ships with less regularity since ever but regularly around 1850s.

The project aims at the definition of modifications to the standard GTFS format, HTFS, keeping it open source and adding historically relevant data and expanding the format to cover complex information, and the creation of a tool to digitize tickets, travel leaflets, schedules and other kinds of documents about any form of travel, in order to generate files that can be used with modern-day multi-modal transit planners, but looking at a realistic world of the past.

This paper covers the reasoning behind the proposed standard, the differences with GTFS and some application in real life, considering 19th century trains in northern italy.


This text is released under CC BY 4.0 International license. Copyright by Marco Montanari 2022.