Kevin Warwick and I talked on the phone last week about my app. I’m including one section of the interview here, so I don’t have to write the essay…
Kevin: So directions wouldn’t be a thing you would include?
Steven: People have been asking about it. I’ve been meaning to write an essay on why I’m not going to do it. I don’t agree with the answers that a directions engine gives you. Google has an engine called Open Trip Planner made by a group called Open Plans in New York City, and then there’s the Open Street Map routing engine. I use the Open Street Map data.
Accuracy is based on algorithms and you can’t modify the Google one as a programmer. Other engines you can modify and basically tell them what to prioritize. The staff at Open Plans built a web app for New York City bike sharing, which is coming soon. It routes you based on the availability and location of bike sharing stations. Walk these two blocks, pick up a bike here, and drop it off at the destination nearest to you.
Maybe those are ideal but I think Chicagoans know the grid and streets pretty well and can make assessments of the best way to go. We just need a reminder of what the bike infrastructure is. So I took off things that don’t exist like recommended routes. I also removed marked shared lanes because I don’t believe those are part of the infrastructure.
Read the full interview to learn about how I envision the future of the Chicago Bike Map app. Thank you, Kevin, for helping promote my app.