Tracker Map View User Guide
Tracker Map View provides real-time transit vehicle location information. Currently Tracker Map View shows vehicles operated by King County Metro Transit, including some Sound Transit Regional Express routes. Note that Tracker Map View runs as a Java applet, which means it can run within your web browser. There is no file download or installation process, you just need a Java-enabled browser (see System Requirements).
There are two basic display types available. The first is a map-based display. This display type consists of a road map, upon which bus locations are updated as the bus information is sent from the web server to the applet. By default, Tracker Map View displays all the buses, but you can choose to see only the buses on certain routes; other buses are temporarily hidden.
A variety of map navigation features are available, allowing you to view any location served by the bus network. Locations can be selected from a pre-assigned set, or you can navigate around using direction buttons and (smooth!) map dragging. Any map location can then be bookmarked, allowing it to be accessed conveniently at a later time. The bookmarked names are stored on your computer, so survive between invocations of Tracker Map View, and the names given to locations are fully personalizable. Location bookmarking in Tracker Map View is analogous to web page bookmarking in a browser environment. The user can also zoom in and out of the display, altering the scale and thus the region viewed.
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The second display type focuses more directly on specific bus routes, rather than showing all buses in a location vicinity. By popping up the menu associated with every map-based bus, the actual course of the selected bus can then be tracked. This is known as the bus progress display, in that it shows the progress of just the selected bus (along with any other buses which are traveling exactly the same route). A useful feature on this display is the ability to set an alarm at any point along the route. When a bus passes the alarm placement, the alarm is fired and you are notified, with a pop up dialog and a alarm sound. Place an alarm just before your bus stop, and let Tracker Map View alert you when to leave to catch your bus!
A variant on the bus progress display is the route segment display. Instead of showing the progress of a particular bus, you designate a route segment by selecting start and end points from a list of named locations (those used by the transit agency for scheduling purposes). The idea is that you are telling Tracker Map View where you get on and off your bus. Tracker Map View then automatically calculates exactly which buses on that route travel the chosen route segment. This feature is particularly useful when the agency runs several buses with a shared route number, but there exist path variations within that route. The route segment display feature "blends" these route variations together, resulting in more buses showing up on the route segment you chose. As with the bus progress display, the route segment display features alarm notification.
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Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments about this Tracker application.