I hope the 45+ people who downloaded the Chicago Bike Map app during the last free day are enjoying access to great information about bicycling in Chicago and are discovering new ways to get around town by knowing where the city’s bike lane infrastructure exists.
Version 0.5 will bring the usual base map updates (including a buffered bike lane on Clark Street between Sandburg Terrace and Walton Street) as well as more resources and information (like need-to-know traffic laws). Additionally, I’ll add new points of interests (I’ll be focusing on universities, maybe colleges if there’s demand). Since the v0.4 update I’ve discovered two additional DIY bike repair stands.
I’m working on a new feature: bookmarks. This would allow you to find your home (or any place) on the map, tap and add a bookmark to that location that would appear in a new “personal points of interest” list. The feature may not come out in v0.5, though, as I need to quickly get out the new base map. I am also considering making the bookmark feature part of a feature that could use a data connection if available: geocoding. This means you type in a street address and the app locates it on the map for you. You could then add this as a bookmark.
However, a feature that uses a data connection would go against my original intention of providing a bike map without the need for a data connection. I think I can respect this goal as long as high functionality is provided without necessitating a data connection; that is, people without an active data connection would still be able to create bookmarks by panning and zooming to an area on the map.
Lastly, multi-use trails and paths will be added to the app. This feature is still in development but will at a minimum include a category in the points of interest that lists trailheads. I’m on the lookout for a shapefile that represents the Illinois Prairie Path.