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View Full Version : What would a dedicate Road & Trail Conditions app/website/service look like?



chris_s
01-08-2016, 12:31 PM
My work on the regional bike map (http://mizook.com/bikedc/) has me mulling over various other potential bike-related, map-related website / apps / services and I got thinking about road & trail conditions. The thought that jumped into my head goes something like this:

Crowdsourced conditions - I image you could report conditions in two different ways:
1) an area report - select a portion of the route & specify an overall condition
2) a specific incident report - drop a pin on a precise location on the route & indicate a particular problem / incident there (tree down / flooded / closed for construction / etc)

Conditions are display on an online (mobile-friendly) map. In addition to just being able to pull up the map to see what reports people have filed, make the data more useful by supporting:
1) daily commute reports - ahead of time, layout your standard commute on the map & pick a particular time to receive an automatic email in your inbox that gives you the last X hours of reports that pertain to your standard commute.
2) emergency reports - pick routes that you care about & get instantaneous notifications if a route you care about is reported as impassable.

Would that be useful? Would it be significantly more useful than the forum thread? What information is most important? How would you want to receive it? Would you contribute?

Fairlington124
01-08-2016, 01:48 PM
On a possibly-related note, what about a more comprehensive system of reporting on road/trail conditions? Right now it is ad hoc, that is, somebody writes as they see something they believe to be noteworthy. Perhaps a more systemic initiative to report at least on the major trunk routes, so that this stuff can be better documented and monitored.

TwoWheelsDC
01-08-2016, 02:07 PM
My work on the regional bike map (http://mizook.com/bikedc/) has me mulling over various other potential bike-related, map-related website / apps / services and I got thinking about road & trail conditions. The thought that jumped into my head goes something like this:

Crowdsourced conditions - I image you could report conditions in two different ways:
1) an area report - select a portion of the route & specify an overall condition
2) a specific incident report - drop a pin on a precise location on the route & indicate a particular problem / incident there (tree down / flooded / closed for construction / etc)

Conditions are display on an online (mobile-friendly) map. In addition to just being able to pull up the map to see what reports people have filed, make the data more useful by supporting:
1) daily commute reports - ahead of time, layout your standard commute on the map & pick a particular time to receive an automatic email in your inbox that gives you the last X hours of reports that pertain to your standard commute.
2) emergency reports - pick routes that you care about & get instantaneous notifications if a route you care about is reported as impassable.

Would that be useful? Would it be significantly more useful than the forum thread? What information is most important? How would you want to receive it? Would you contribute?

Waze, but for bikes.* Feel free to make my royalty checks out to CASH.

Not even kidding. The interface is ideal.

CaseyKane50
01-08-2016, 04:56 PM
A nice feature would allow the appropriate owner of the road or trail to be notified when you note a problem.

PotomacCyclist
01-09-2016, 06:09 PM
Simpler would be better. Something like a map that has an icon that marks obstacles, hazards and other problems. There could be a limited set of easy-to-read icons, to mark common issues such as icy patches, flooded trails, downed trees, car crash injuries and damage, police/Secret Service closures (since this is the DC area) and maybe a couple other categories.

The ice icon could have an icicle or two hanging from a tree branch next to a slick frozen patch. This would have to be simple in order to show up on a mobile-friendly map.

The flooded trail icon could show water above a trail, similar to existing traffic signs that warn of low-lying flood-prone areas.

The police/Secret Service icon could show a police barricade, or a simplified version of one.

But once someone adds these to a map, how long would the icon markers stay in place? Would they disappear after a set time? Or would they need to be removed manually? By users or by an administrator? If the icons aren't cleared, then the map would fill up with old hazard markers.

If this is too complicated, maybe we could set up a format on the existing Road and Trail Conditions thread to make those easier to read? Those threads contain off-topic or marginally-related messages. What about if hazard warning posts always start off with the name of the location in bold type and all caps? Then a more detailed description of the problem could follow. For example, something like this:

MVT/GRAVELLY POINT - 1/23/2018, 8 am

Downed tree, 100 ft. north of the airplane viewing area. Blocking the entire trail. NPS has been notified.

This would make the thread easier to read for people who want to see hazard/obstacle warnings quickly before they head off to work/school/other.

chris_s
01-21-2016, 11:51 AM
Anybody want to be a guinea pig? Seems like a good weekend for trial by fire.

The #bikedc crowd-sourced regional trail and road conditions map (http://dcbikemap.com/)

It's a very rough beta, but functional.

DETAILS:
To report conditions you'll need to be logged-in - hit the "register" button to create an account, or you can login using existing Google Credentials on the "login" page under "sign in using other services".
Once you're logged-in, just click wherever you want to report conditions for. Pick a "status" and fill in any additional details that you'd like to share then click "submit".

Condition Reports show up as a color-coded dot -
GREEN = CLEAR (No problems)
YELLOW = USE CAUTION (Some slippery spots or light debris, but not a big deal)
ORANGE = DIFFICULT (Heavy snow, ice, blockages that may require briefly dismounting.)
RED = IMPASSABLE (Severe flooding, official trail closures, etc.)

Click the colored dot for details of who reported it, when it was reported and any details the user included.

Reports disappear after 12 hours so as to avoid providing information that is too stale. Should work fine on most modern smart phones and tablets in addition to PCs.

Feedback welcomed!

NickBull
01-29-2016, 09:45 AM
Anybody want to be a guinea pig? Seems like a good weekend for trial by fire.

The #bikedc crowd-sourced regional trail and road conditions map (http://dcbikemap.com/)

It's a very rough beta, but functional.

It was functional the first time I tried it right after you posted this. But the next time I looked, a couple of days ago, all I get is a big, blank page. Same's true today.

Nick

americancyclo
01-29-2016, 10:05 AM
We had this a few years ago, maybe for the 2010 Snowpocalypse but it seems to have fallen off!
Greater DC Trail Snow Conditions - https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=zgWN6k1IsdtY.k82OQYPlJpZk&usp=sharing

chris_s
01-29-2016, 10:12 AM
It was functional the first time I tried it right after you posted this. But the next time I looked, a couple of days ago, all I get is a big, blank page. Same's true today.

Nick

That's odd - it's coming up fine for me. What device and browser are you using?

PotomacCyclist
01-29-2016, 10:23 AM
I can view the map today, but I still can't log on. I'm using a Windows 7 laptop and Google Chrome browser.

As noted on the other thread, I was able to sign in a week ago and post a road update on the site, but not since the snowstorm.

chris_s
01-29-2016, 10:35 AM
I can view the map today, but I still can't log on. I'm using a Windows 7 laptop and Google Chrome browser.

As noted on the other thread, I was able to sign in a week ago and post a road update on the site, but not since the snowstorm.

Let's start by trying a password reset (http://dcbikemap.com/Account/ForgotPassword) (which yes, I know isn't actually linked from anywhere right now)

NickBull
01-29-2016, 07:03 PM
That's odd - it's coming up fine for me. What device and browser are you using?

Firefox with Noscript at work and home. I've told NoScript to allow all at dcbikemap.com. Still fails.

However Internet Explorer succeeds at home (not avail. at work).

I can't tell what color Rock Creek Trail is supposed to be. It looks black. Is it supposed to be green??

Nick

PotomacCyclist
01-30-2016, 04:58 AM
Let's start by trying a password reset (http://dcbikemap.com/Account/ForgotPassword) (which yes, I know isn't actually linked from anywhere right now)

I think I was able to log in yesterday after resetting the password. But I'm getting the same error message again now: "Invalid login attempt."

Maybe something is happening with the browser autofill on the login page. Instead of my email address, the field is automatically populated with my username. I manually change it to my email address. I also type the password manually, in case autofill throws off the login for some reason. That still doesn't work.

PotomacCyclist
01-30-2016, 05:01 AM
I just tried Internet Explorer. Same error message. I normally try to avoid using IE, but I thought I'd test the website out in that browser too.

americancyclo
02-02-2016, 09:14 AM
I see a blank page in Firefox ESR 38.2.0

Errors below:

"[CustomizableUI]" "Custom widget with id loop-button does not return a valid node" CustomizableUI.jsm:167
...
"Failed to initialize WebGL" mapbox-gl.js:160:7483
"Activity Stream Update Timer Started" vbulletin_activitystream.js:11:2210
"Failed to initialize WebGL" mapbox-gl.js:160:7483
[80]</<._setupPainter() mapbox-gl.js:160
[80]</module.exports() mapbox-gl.js:160
<anonymous> dcbikemap.com:115


Map loads up in IE though. Shudder.

chris_s
02-08-2016, 01:19 PM
FYI - I've pulled down the road & trail conditions tool for now. There's a pretty clear lack of interest as currently put together; it will likely return at some point in the future with a focus on making it as simple as possible to report conditions so as to encourage participation.

http://dcbikemap.com/ now instead points directly to my regional bike map mash-up.