What we made
An app for showing crowd sourced city centre car park availability levels.
Why we made it
Without descending into the city’s narrow streets, it is impossible to predict and understand how busy car parks are likely to be. Given that no realtime data on parking levels were made available, we built an iPhone application to crowdsource the information directly from the drivers themselves. A realtime dashboard for the current car parking levels was developed to give the council a graphical overview of the current situation.
The tourist dashboard project also highlighted car parking as a drawback to people visiting Bath as a city.
How we made it
What was hard about it
There were a number of difficult portions:
- Extracting useful information from the datasets provided
- Developing an algorithm for simplifying the user feedback down into: low, medium and high.
How we’d improve the datasets
To improve the datasets, I’d make sure there wasn’t a catch-all field containing HTML of “additional information”. I’d move the charges, charge times, postcode, etc, out into semantic XML elements for easy reading by a program.
If we had more time or further investment
If investment was made into this project we would:
- Polish off the iPhone and make improvements to the user experience
- Improve the “closest car park” algorithm to factor in user feedback
- Use historic data to predict busy car parks and direct users accordingly