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CycleStreets blog

News from CycleStreets

Archive for October, 2010

iPhone app open sourced – and can you help us develop it?

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

iPhone app screen

Our iPhone app has now been open-sourced and available on GitHub under the GPL version 2 license!

Roadmap – project team needed!

A few weeks after the initial release of the app, a crashfix release (1.01) was issued. We've not heard of any more crash reports since.

In terms of a roadmap (no pun intended!), if people come forward to help:

For version 1.1 we'd like to implement a range of small fixes, which basically tidy up rough edges, usability fixes, text changes, and implement smaller improvements that didn't make it into the 1.0 release. Also, any improvements in stability and responsiveness would be good to include, if developers can spot optimisations that could be achieved.

For version 1.2, we'd like to add native iPad compatibility (we understand this doesn't involve too many changes – mainly screen layout definitions), a places directory, and a few new features related to the Photomap.

For version 2, we'd like to fulfil our long-standing and ultimate aim for the app, which is a full turn-by-turn satnav mode with speech directions. We obtained a quote back in January for voice synthesis of street names – which would be on a share-of-app-price basis. This means that such a feature would mean a 'CycleStreets Pro' paid-for upgrade. However, we want to keep the standard app free, and so that would have voice directions that don't involve reading street names. The other key feature for version 2 would be upload of GPX files.

These are our own ideas and those of people who have submitted feedback so far. Naturally we'd welcome any further ideas and the priorities of developers who can volunteer their time.

We also have an innovative proposal that we are about to submit to GeoVation which would benefit the app (and potentially other mobile apps using our routing) – stay tuned.

Bug list – can you spot how to fix these bugs?

Can you spot how to fix these bugs or implement suggested new features? :

If so, we'd love to hear from you!

Project team

We're keen to build a project team to take the app forward. There are various changes and bugfixes we'd like to put in that didn't make it in time for the release, as well as add new features that people have been requesting.

If you'd be interested to implement fixes, and thus join our project team, drop us a line and we can give you rights to write to the repository.

Just to be clear – we don't have any funding, so this is an open source effort, but you will receive the warm glow of users of the app, who are planning thousands of route km per day!

The license

The code has been licensed under the GPL version 2, as it's the one we're most familiar with already and as it is a true copyleft license.

However, we recognise there is debate within the iPhone development community about the suitability of this license given the rules applying to release of software on the app store, so we are happy to consider applying dual-licensing, preferably a copy-left license, but will need some advice on this as we are less familiar with other licenses.

PS – Other apps

Our other apps – Android and Mobile HTML versions – are coming along. We hope to have news soon, though they will be released more quickly if further volunteers come forward to help out and/or if funding can be found.

Android app screenshot    Mobile HTML app

CycleStreets in Digital Heroes awards

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010
Vote for Simon in the Digital Heroes 2010

We're riding again, with the leaders of the pack, in TalkTalk's annual "Digital Heroes" awards.

This is a competitive award scheme, which if we win would bring a much needed investment of £5,000 to the project.
Every penny would be used to improve the website to make it easier to use and produce better quality routes. Our users keep telling us these are the main things we need to be working on and we are doing what we can. More funding helps us get this job done more quickly and involve more people.

If you would like to support our work please vote for Simon in the Digital Heroes awards, thank you.

New cycle parking website for London launched

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

We're proud to announce the launch of a website we helped create for London Cycling Campaign:

specifically, the 'suggest a location' page. The design of the site and other content is by LCC itself.

The site enables members of the public to submit suggestions of places needing cycle parking, which will then be used by local campaigners. Some 500 locations have already been submitted!

The site is very much along the same lines as which we created for Cambridgeshire County Council.

We're keen to do similar sites for Local Authorities around the country, if funding is available.

Future Friendly Awards: thanks for your vote

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Many thanks to all our users and supporters who voted for us recently in the Future Friendly Awards. Voting amongst the entries was apparently 'nail-bitingly close'.

Sadly, we didn't win, but congratulations to The Project Group whose excellent project won the £10,000 bursary.

We were pleased to learn from one of the Future Friendly organisers that some 200 entries to the competition were made, so we were extremely pleased to be in the top five!


Simon and Martin at Future Friendly awards

The awards ceremony took place in the very grand surroundings of Syon House in West London. Although of course we would normally have cycled to such events we succumbed and took up the offer of a low-emission taxi. It was the first time we'd been in one of these vehicles. They are eerily quiet as they sit in the car park and move off silently. So quiet in fact that pedestrians don't realise there's a car present until they see it and jump back in mild panic. (This reminds me of the 'silent menace' label sometimes Cambridge cyclists are given as they use the 'pedestrianised' streets of the centre – where cycling is now permitted.)

The dashboard on these vehicles has a large panel of flashing bar-charts which seem to convey a sense of the energy efficiency of the vehicle. Our chauffeur admitted that he did not know what it all meant but that the vehicle had less emissions largely because he spends a lot of time inching forward in heavy traffic when the petrol part of the car can go onto standby mode.

We had a good chance during the evening to chat to the other entrants to this awards scheme. The final projects were all worthy causes tackling the difficult and complex issue of reducing human impact on the environment – and each in quite different ways. The winners were throughly delighted and were wearing their own creations – recycled materials used as fashion accessories and clothing.

Although we didn't win the award, the ceremony and the recognition are strong indications that 'we are doing something right'. The publicity we've got from the process has helped grow awareness of the CycleStreets project and is huge encouragement for us to carry on.

But the search for funding continues, and we're in another awards short-list, for which we'll need your vote again.

We welcome your feedback, especially to report bugs or give us route feedback.

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