Whilst we did mention it in passing, whilst having a moan about Cardiff Council’s new car parking app, we thought Smartcycle deserved a post of its own.
Pulling in parking and bike shop data from OpenStreetMap, Smartcycle put the parking information you need in an attractive package.
The power of open data
If you’ve been with us a while, you may remember our parking project back in the early days. We started off with pictures on Flickr, before progressing to OpenStreetMap and the veritable mine of information and possibilities it provides.
We had a good go at adding bike racks to the map for Cardiff and the surrounding area. Some of you also helped out too.
As luck would have it, we were not the only ones embracing the power of open data. A particularly fruitful hackathon in London back last June resulted in an excellent app called Smartcycle. Currently available only for iOS it pulls in data from OpenStreetMap and tells you at a glance how many bike parking racks are nearby before directing you to them.
If you want to look Smartcycle up for a bit more background, don’t bother Googling them. A certain toymaker has a toy with a very similar name. Instead, you’ll find them at http://smartcycle.london
If you have an iPhone, download it from the app store, load it up, register and you’ll be greeted with a home screen displaying the number of bike racks nearby and any bike shops within your vicinity. If you are near a bike rack and it isn’t marked on the map, the app will allow you to add it.
It’s a very polished app that should prove useful whether you are commuting into town, going shopping, or just want to help others get the hang of cycling in Cardiff.