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Google Introduces Polite Parking App


Article by: robert
Date: 12 Jul 2010

pocketgpsworld.comGoogle Marketplace has launched Open Spot, a free parking application for Android (requires Android 2.0) in the US, Canada and the Netherlands. It works by letting people who are leaving parking spots tip off other users who are searching for parking.

Using GPS and Google Maps the app shows unclaimed spaces as red dots - and just before you drive off, you mark that space on the map. 'Karma points' are earned for each spot and the more spaces you point out, the more Karma Points are earned.

Points don't make prizes, all you'll get in return is a sense of pride in helping your fellow motorist. Google anticipate that will be more than enough to make this project successful.

Pinpointed spots remain active for a maximum of 20 minutes per space and are then removed. Color-codes indicate how long they’ve been active:

* Red pins are freshly-marked spots
* Orange pins are spots marked over 5 minutes ago
* Yellow pins are spots marked over 10 minutes ago

Tagged spots are displayed within 1.5km / 0.9 miles of your position. Of course others may find the vacant space before you do, but it should prove useful for most drivers.

It's currently only available in the US, Canada and the Netherlands but Google say "If you're not in one of the countries we support, we're sorry we can't help you just yet. We understand looking for parking is no fun regardless of where you are. We'll do our best to include as many countries as we can."

Google acknowledge that not everyone will play nicely. They've already got a name for such deviants: "Griefers". Google says, "We’re watching for behavior that looks like a griefer spoofing parking spots. We have a couple of mechanisms available to make sure someone can’t leave a bunch of fake parking spots. If we see this happening we will take steps to fix it."

It'll be interesting to see if Google eventually use historic data garnered from this initiative to predict and share information on streets or areas where parking spaces are more likely to occur and at what times. It might also be a useful future feature to be able to add information about whether the space is free of charge, a parking meter or a car park.
Comments
Posted by NickG on Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:06 pm Reply with quote

Is it just me, or does this whole thing seem like it could never possibly work? It's not like you can *reserve* the parking space with the app so one of the other 1 million people driving around the city will simply park in it first before you get there. I really don't see the point of it. You're better off just driving around looking for a space than using this app to find a space that was listed as being free 3 hours ago. It could only work if everybody was already using it all of the time.


Twitter: @nickg_uk

 
Posted by yeramihi on Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:28 am Reply with quote

NickG Wrote:
Is it just me, or does this whole thing seem like it could never possibly work? It's not like you can *reserve* the parking space with the app so one of the other 1 million people driving around the city will simply park in it first before you get there. I really don't see the point of it. You're better off just driving around looking for a space than using this app to find a space that was listed as being free 3 hours ago. It could only work if everybody was already using it all of the time.


RobBrady Wrote:
Pinpointed spots remain active for a maximum of 20 minutes per space and are then removed. Color-codes indicate how long they’ve been active:

* Red pins are freshly-marked spots
* Orange pins are spots marked over 5 minutes ago
* Yellow pins are spots marked over 10 minutes ago


You might want to read & understand what you are reading next time...


 
Posted by M8TJT on Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:54 am Reply with quote

Oooooh, take that you bounder Very Happy


 
Posted by NickG on Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:01 am Reply with quote

yeramihi Wrote:
You might want to read & understand what you are reading next time...


Alright - replace my 3 hours with 20 minutes - my point (and the problem) still stands. I understand perfectly thank you. If you're in an area that's so short of spaces you need an app to find one, it's unlikely to remain free for more than 5 minutes - let alone 20. Imagine how annoying it would be if you'd driven a mile across town to get to one of the green markers to find someone else has taken it anyway. In fact the article poster has even said "Of course others may find the vacant space before you do".


Twitter: @nickg_uk

 
Posted by GerryC on Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:42 am Reply with quote

It might be a gimmick but give it a chance. I would expect it to be more useful to suddenly see a space become available down the next side street that you had no intention to drive down on the off chance than one a mile away.

Either that or Rob's putting up an article about an app that's on Android. Wink


Gerry
TomTom730T
Cameralert for Android
Brodit ProClip mount

 
Posted by MaFt on Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:02 am Reply with quote

i agree with NickG in that a space is highly unlikely to stay vacant for more than a few minutes. however, on a wider scale, if you look on a map and see a cluster of 'free' spaces in one car park compared to only 1 in another then it would be safe to assume that the 'cluster' car park is relatively less busy and you would have a higher chance of getting a parking space there. either that or it could simply mean there is a carphone warehouse there and everyone is just trying the new feature on their new android phone Wink

MaFt


MaFt®

 
Posted by offthegrid on Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:40 am Reply with quote

Navteq has something similar but with commercial lots.

http://www.nn4d.com/site/global/build/navteq/location_content/10_content_products/10_dynamic_poi_content/parking_preview/p_parking_preview.jsp


 
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