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Thread: Behold: RackSpotter - A crowdsourced bike parking tool!

  1. #11
    PotomacCyclist is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    I went on a RackSpotting run on Sunday. I only covered a few blocks, but there are a lot of bike racks in that area. I think I got everything on those blocks. I'll fill in other areas next weekend.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoot View Post
    Who should I contact if I notice errors in the data for previously spotted racks? Are you the sysadmin, Tim?
    Go ahead and send them to: info@bikearlington.com

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    Would love to see a proper app. The mobile site is a little buggy. Main problem is that I have to log in every time and dismiss the "how to" notification. The map is also a little wonky and frequently has problems fetching map data. Would also be nice if it was possible to add photos to spots that are already marked, since I often pass spaces and make a mental note, but don't have the time/ability to stop and take a photo.
    The choice to do just a mobile friendly website was to keep costs down (in only have to make a website, vs making a website, iOS, Android, and Blackberry operating systems).

    Maybe adding photos in the comments section would be a good work around?

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobco85 View Post
    Spent some time on Friday afternoon taking photos and searching high and low for bike racks (they can be quite rare in some areas). The tool is pretty easy to learn, although I had some initial confusion about whether bays or spaces are being used.

    Here's the issue I ran- er, biked- into:
    1. Adding a single U rack at a location (1 bay -> 2 spaces)
    2. The tool says "How many bays or spaces?" so I enter 2
    3. After adding the rack to the map, the rack information shows "Bays: 2"
    4. 2 bays would mean 4 spaces which is incorrect


    I think if the tool were to ask for spaces only it would be clearer to users (I think it should answer the question, "How many bikes can be locked up here?"). Perhaps something explaining the bays-to-spaces calculation would help, too (note: the explanation for wave rack capacity with counting the arches was helpful).

    Other than that, I think this tool is really great. Once a lot of rack information has been added, I think this data could be used to push for the addition of or improvement of bike parking in places that need them. So far, so good!
    Our thinking is that a U-lock has two bays/two spaces. Something like a traditional "wheelbender" rack would have bays. If it's confusing, it's probably easier just to get rid of the "bays" terminology though.

  5. #15
    PotomacCyclist is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    Yes, I think the word "bays" is a little confusing. I figured out that the number refers to how many bikes can be parked at that rack, but it might cause some confusion down the road.

    I didn't have any major issues with the mobile website, but there are a couple minor issues. I also found it annoying to click on "OK" when I wanted to add a new bike rack to the map. Can you add an option to turn off that notification after it has been displayed once? Something like a check box and "Do not display this confirmation message in the future." (You could also add an option in the Settings menu to turn that confirmation pop-up back on, if someone really wants it back.)

    When I wanted to add a new location, I would have to fiddle with the map zoom and/or scroll up on the map to get the bottom menu bar to reappear. I don't know if this is a quirk of the website or of the mobile browser. (I'm using the default Android browser on a Samsung Galaxy S5. I think it may be the browser, but I'm not sure.)

    Once I got the hang of it, I was able to zip through the process fairly quickly. I like the option of adding Capital Bikeshare locations as a map overlay.

    Would it be possible to offer an option to see the Satellite image on the map? While the Map view is clearer, sometimes it's a little difficult to pinpoint the exact spot of the rack on a particular block. The close-in view on the Map view does show outlines of buildings, but some may prefer the Satellite View from Google Maps. Is this possible? (I think it would be great to have the same option for Satellite View on the map on the Capital Bikeshare website too.)

  6. #16
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    When you find a damaged rack, should the count be the theoretical capacity or actual capacity? This rack is at Wakefield High School.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Also, does anyone know if the damaged racks should be reported to the school system or the county?

  7. #17
    dasgeh's Avatar
    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Whoa! Report it to Tom Norton, APS's srts coordinator

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Whoa! Report it to Tom Norton, APS's srts coordinator
    That would be: tom.norton@apsva.us

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Kelley View Post
    That would be: tom.norton@apsva.us
    Thanks for the lead and address. I sent Tom a message. I will post the response.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyKane50 View Post
    Thanks for the lead and address. I sent Tom a message. I will post the response.
    Thanks for doing that. I tweeted at the high school principal and the APS main twitter account too. Even got a response from APS saying that they'd pass it along already.

    Let us know what Tom says!

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