STAYING CURRENT WITH MDS
Whether you’re currently using the Mobility Data Specification (MDS) or looking to get started, staying up-to-date with the most current versions has multiple benefits, including more accurate data, access to improved features and support, and a more effective data standard overall. As the governing body for MDS, the Open Mobility Foundation (OMF) is here to keep the community informed of version guidance, upgrade schedules, and other information that promotes a well-functioning ecosystem for MDS.
WHEN TO UPGRADE
MDS is a dynamic standard, designed to evolve through the contributions of our community. The OMF strongly recommends adopting the latest release of MDS into production within six months for major releases, and four months for minor releases. To help with upgrading, new version candidates are made available prior to release, allowing time for implementation and initial testing to begin.
- The most recent and preferred version of MDS is 1.1.0, released in March of 2021
- Version 1.2.0 is currently in development and is slated for release in October of 2021
BENEFITS OF UPGRADING
Recommended versions of MDS are supported and maintained by the OMF and our community for two years – we provide updated guidance and documentation, track issues, and provide bug fixes and critical updates in the form of hotfixes for these versions. Plus, our network of members and contributors serves as a community of support for organizations using MDS, including those who need support implementing new versions.
Learn more about the features that make newer versions of MDS unique.
RECOMMENDED VERSION HIGHLIGHTS
Released: March 2021
- City Metrics: Introduces a standard way to describe available metrics and serve as a mechanism for consistently aggregating data
- Provider Reports: Streamlines the process around existing aggregate reporting requirements for special groups, making it more efficient and consistent for providers
- Public Endpoints: Allows transparency for the public to see how a given city is regulating, holds the city accountable for their policy decisions, allows third parties to ingest this valuable information into their applications and services
- Privacy Features: A new option called Geography Driven Events allows you to obtain operating information without knowing vehicle location.
- Jurisdictions: Allows coordination of jurisdictions by multiple neighboring agencies for each mode
Released: September 2020
Alignment of Provider & Agency: Reconciles the historic naming differences between event terms within Provider and Agency, providing more vehicle states and allowing for easier implementation
Policy Rates: Improves MDS for use around fees and subsidies, allowing cities to enact complex policies to achieve their goals
Stops: Supports docked bikeshare and e-scooter programs, allowing cities to designate docks, parking areas, stations, and corrals across MDS
Released: May 2020
- Vehicles: A new endpoint that shows the status of all vehicles in the right of way, as a regulatory alternative to GBFS
- OMF Ownership: Addition of documentation, version support, and guidelines for understanding and using MDS. Updates to licensing, release guides, and development process
Released: October 2019
- Policy: New Policy API to allow communication of operating rules, geofencing, vehicle caps and more
- Static Files: Allow caching of Provider data and the ability to serve up static API endpoints, all to improve uptime, reliability, and the ability to backfill data.
- Internationalization: Support for various currencies and the car share vehicle type
USING OLDER VERSIONS OF mDS
Releases that are no longer recommended by the OMF should be phased out of use. Similar to other open source data standards, the OMF does not recommend using versions of MDS that are older than two years, and thus consider them deprecated. Deprecated versions of MDS include 0.3.2 and older.
Using deprecated versions of MDS can lead to issues around data accuracy, add barriers to the widespread adoption and use of data standards, and contribute to challenges around compliance with requirements and regulations. Plus, relying on deprecated versions of MDS raises technical costs and complexity for the organizations you work with, who frequently must support multiple versions.
The OMF has developed guidance for cities writing MDS into their operating policy, and includes sample policy language. This is designed to help cities and their partners stay on the same page when it comes to MDS versions and general use.