Hot on the heels of the latest iPhone app for the Barclay’s Cycle Hire scheme comes a widget for Android phones that goes one step further – by indicating how many bikes are available to hire at each docking station.
The Cycle Hire Widget from Little Fluffy Toys is a free app for Android phones that uses crowdsourcing to display bike availability – addressing the problem that no third-party developer yet has access to the number of bike available at docking stations.
The system relies on users letting each other know how many bikes are available.
The widget displays the direction and distance of the closest three cycle hire locations, with colour-coloured direction arrows reflecting the known status of each hire location:
not enough bikes
not enough spaces
When touched again, the detail view displays further information about the nearest 20 cycle hire locations. When a location is selected, Google Maps shows walking directions to the hire location from the user’s current location.
Kenton Price, director and chief architect of Little Fluffy Toys, said, "Cycle Hire Widget is a powerful, free application that leverages the goodwill of the cycling community to share with others the availability of cycles at the hire locations, bridging one of the gaps at the scheme’s launch.
"TfL does not currently share details of how many bikes or spaces are available at each location with third-party developers, so Cycle Hire Widget asks its users to report and share this information, a technique known as 'crowdsourcing'.
"When the details screen is opened within 50 metres of a hire location, the user is prompted to provide feedback on the status of the location: all OK, not enough bikes, not enough spaces, or closed. This information is then shared with other users of the widget."
To install this free application, search Android Market for ‘Cycle Hire Widget’. More information is available on the Little Fluffy Toys site.
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Lifelong lover of most things cycling-related, from Moulton Mini adventures in the 70s to London bike messengering in the 80s, commuting in the 90s, mountain biking in the noughties and road cycling throughout. Editor of Simpson Magazine (www.simpsonmagazine.cc).
My pet hate for all the mapping apps is a lack of readily accessible legend. They all seem hidden away so well I can never find them....
For a start, staggered bollards are recommended against in the National Guidelines - because a straight approach and path through is required....
Isn't Brigg where Falcon bikes came from originally?
In the same way that letting the tyres down for short periods doesn't damage the tyres?
At least I have no preference or prejudice, I don't seem to be able to comment without perce or clem shaped shadows. Which is a compliment I guess....
Just hoppit with your humour.
Oh no, helmets again...
Something there is which doesn't love a planter... the one just up the hill from it was trashed time back. Not sure if this one has been...
very happy with my Velovault 2. Easy to pack, with plenty of space for a larger frame. The customer service was excellent too