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Speed Camera Database to Turn Professional
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MikeB
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Location: Essex, UK

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 12:19 pm    Post subject: Speed Camera Database to Turn Professional Reply with quote

The positive feedback that we have been getting about the PocketGPSWorld.com Speed Camera Database since its launch over 3 years ago has been nothing short of amazing. I'm sure that all our visitors understand the huge amounts of work that we (but mostly Richard Davies) have put into the application and continue to do so each and every month.

Since the launch of our free in-house POICapture for Safety Cameras utility http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/poicapture.php (a fantastic application courtesy of Lutz Bendlin) the Speed Camera Database is now reaching new improved levels of accuracy.

We received the following bit of feedback on POICapture from an attendee of The PocketGPSWorld.com Event held in November: "The only problem I had was not being able to find any new speed cameras on the run home 330 miles (ish) and every camera I passed was spot on which also speaks highly of the quality data the site provides So I never got to try the new application I am sure it will be used over the coming weeks."

In fact this gentleman could have used the application as we are now encouraging everyone to also report every existing camera (it is very easy to use) so we can repeatedly confirm locations. We hope also to be able to professionally develop even further systems to verify every UK camera location ensuring data accuracy as near to 100% as possible. We foresee us covering other European countries in the future as well.

To introduce the first stage in the 'professionalisation' of the Speed Camera Database we asked many of our 750 visitors at the PocketGPSWorld.com Basingstoke Event to complete a feedback form. This form included questions as to a possible future fair charging system for the downloads. Some said they were in favour of a yearly fixed charge for unlimited downloads and some were opposed to any charge at all. However, the overwhelming majority of the 100s that completed the form agreed that a charge of 2.00 per download was reasonable.

Charging 2.00 per download will not only facilitate our very first full-timer, but eventually allow professional physical checking (through
sampling) of the camera positions.

The team have thought long and hard about this decision and have decided if we are to turn PocketGPSWorld.com from a "hobby site" (run on a part-time only basis by enthusiasts with full-time jobs) into a professional company that offers a professional service, we need a full-timer on board.

This is where Mike Barrett steps up to the plate.

Mike's experience encompasses an entire range of industries from finance, to manufacturing and retail. He has been involved in the complete development lifecycle for software projects commissioned for some of the World's best known corporate names. Starting his career before the invention of the PC and the Internet as we now know it Mike has been involved in creating global communications solutions.

In the late 80's and early 90's when the Internet was in an embryonic stage he was using the same technologies that were used to build the Internet. Mike is an accredited TMB (Technology Means Business) Adviser and is a regular presenter of seminars and workshops for BusinessLink. Together with fellow PocketGPSWorld.com team member Robert Brady, he was recognised by the UK Government E-Commerce Awards for the marketing and development of the best new UK e-commerce site for 2003.

Currently, huge amounts of Mike's, Robert's and Darren's time is taken up organising the regular PocketGPSWorld.com events - they are currently planning our next one in Edinburgh for over 2000 visitors! Regulars will already be aware of the mammoth amount of work Darren Griffin, alongside our moderators, contributes to the forums.

I'm sure all those that know Mike would agree that he would be the perfect candidate for our first full-timer! Mike proposes to change his job in January 2006. To coincide with this, the charge for the download will also be initiated in January.

We know that some of you will be disappointed that we have introduced a charge, but for the site to get to the next level we felt we have had to do this. We promise that we already know every single argument against charging (commercially and emotionally) - we as a team have all, as individuals, used them ourselves during our many discussions on the subject.

In the interest of transparency, our initial main argument against charging was the fact that the database is added to regularly by our community for free. This is a level of goodwill that we take very seriously and hugely appreciate. However, we anticipate that a few contributors may object to supplying us with future updates for what is now transitioning into more of a commercial operation. We would absolutely respect their decision on this without reserve and, certainly in our eyes, this would not impact their standing in the community.

The counter argument is that the huge costs (think bandwidth!) and substantial maintenance of the website MUST be addressed. The website acts as the only vehicle for attracting additions to the Speed Camera Database.
Without the website and without you, our dedicated website community, there would be no database.

We truly hope that the PocketGPSWorld.com community will not only carry on supporting us by sending in new cameras, but also encourage us as we go through our transition from hobby to professional!

The newly release latest version of the Speed Camera Database (including red light camera warnings) can currently be downloaded for free at:
http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/uksafetycameras.php and the POICapture for Speed Cameras utility for TomTom 5 at: http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/poicapture.php

The PocketGPSWorld.Com Team
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MikeB
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Posts: 3859
Location: Essex, UK

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are currently looking at a number of payments options, PayPal is on of them but we are also looking into taking Debit cards through an online provider. We will also be taking cheques for those of you who dont trust online payment systems.
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MarkHewitt
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Joined: Nov 16, 2004
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Location: Chester-le-Street & York

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I don't object to a charging model I think charging 2.00 PER DOWNLOAD is a massive, massive, massive mistake on the part of PocketGPS world.

One of the most important things is to be able to keep your camera database up to date, charging per download would massively discourage this. Instead of updating once a month I'll update once every 6 months, if that. It would also discourage me from providing any updates.

I would strongly recommend a year long subscription model, a price of say 20 for a year would be fair.

The current charging model is about the worst possible way you could have done it Sad
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Almahadeus
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Joined: Aug 06, 2005
Posts: 346

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also people who used this site for free did contribute by adding cameras to the database encouraged by the notion that the database was for free and the new charge may put them off from adding any new contribution as it would seem that it is a job for professionals who are getting paid to do it.
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Raify
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Joined: Dec 19, 2005
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Location: Kent, UK

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dang! I just donated 10.00 to 'pay' for the database, as a way to say thanks for the great service.

Can I get 5 free downloads? Wink
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MarkHewitt
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan_Gleebitz wrote:

2.00 per download is not a massive, massive, massive amount of money. But if you think it is? Then only download 6 times a year for a total of 12.00 which is still less than your yearly sub idea of 20.00.


Charging any amount "per download" is not something I would like at all. It provides an upfront discouragement for me keeping my database up to date, which I don't like at all.

I would think some sort of price reduction is in order for people who want to always have the latest version. Having to pay 24 to download every month is too much IMO and doesn't reward loyal users, so some reduction is in order. 20 is acceptable, 12-15 would be even better..

To reiterate, it's NOT the charge I object to, it's the per download charge which I feel is completely the wrong approach.
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AlanCollier
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Joined: Apr 05, 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 2:19 pm    Post subject: A sad day for Pocket GPS World. Reply with quote

I'm not regular contributor but I like this site and feel compelled to express my utter disappointment at this announcement.

The original motivation of those that contributed to this database was to help others. It would seem that your motivation for making this "professional" is your own greed. You have a great database already, you don't NEED to start charging for it. Are the HUGE costs of hosting this site really not being covered by the adverts? Care to share your accounts with us?

If you go commercial do you expect people to keep contributing to your wealth? Sure, it'll be cheap (to start with) but can you resist the urge to increase prices for your own profit? Oh, and prepare to start being sued, people don't generally sue volunteers but if you're making money..

It's your train set, so do what you like with it, just don't expect people to see going "professional" as anything other than lining YOUR pockets from other people's efforts. Let's hope somebody starts an alternative free database soon.

This is a sad day.

--Alan Collier
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MarkHewitt
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan_Gleebitz wrote:

I have just looked at TomTom site and for UK camera subscription it is: as per XE.com

69.95 EUR Euro = 47.5668 GBP United Kingdom Pounds
So 2.00 as when you feel like it is not a lot.

Dan


Sigh.. How many times do I have to reiterate, it's NOT the charge I object to!

I just feel there should be some sort of reduction in cost for those of us who want to update every month.
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Almahadeus
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 2:29 pm    Post subject: Re: A sad day for Pocket GPS World. Reply with quote

AlanCollier wrote:
I'm not regular contributor but I like this site and feel compelled to express my utter disappointment at this announcement.

The original motivation of those that contributed to this database was to help others. It would seem that your motivation for making this "professional" is your own greed. You have a great database already, you don't NEED to start charging for it. Are the HUGE costs of hosting this site really not being covered by the adverts? Care to share your accounts with us?

If you go commercial do you expect people to keep contributing to your wealth? Sure, it'll be cheap (to start with) but can you resist the urge to increase prices for your own profit? Oh, and prepare to start being sued, people don't generally sue volunteers but if you're making money..

It's your train set, so do what you like with it, just don't expect people to see going "professional" as anything other than lining YOUR pockets from other people's efforts. Let's hope somebody starts an alternative free database soon.

This is a sad day.

--Alan Collier

Well said Alan. That is exactely how I felt when I read the announcement.
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Jammy1
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Joined: Oct 20, 2004
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have used the camera database since I bought my TomTom Classic and have been very pleased with it. I have no objections to paying for this service. I would, however, propose a two tier charging approach.

Tier one: 2 per individual download, as proposed. This gives newcomers to the service the oppurtunity to try out the database before...

Tier two: 20 for an annual subscription service. This way I don't have to keep entering my debit card details every time I need to update the database.

I feel this would provide a best of both worlds solution.
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jguiver
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Joined: Jul 26, 2005
Posts: 65
Location: No valid GPS Signal!

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no objection to the 2 per download charge at all, bearing in mind the usefulness of the speed camera database, and all the other help and information I have received from this site.

I don't do Paypal either, and prefer to pay by credit card for anything I buy on the net. However, I wonder how economical it would be to collect many small value payments by either credit card or cheque. For example, many retailers have a 'minimum spend' before they will accept a card or cheque due to the processing charges they incur. Would the same thing apply in this case?

A subscription might therefore make more sense, but I don't know whether the punters (ie: us) would go for it.
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MarkHewitt
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jammy1 wrote:
I have used the camera database since I bought my TomTom Classic and have been very pleased with it. I have no objections to paying for this service. I would, however, propose a two tier charging approach.

Tier one: 2 per individual download, as proposed. This gives newcomers to the service the oppurtunity to try out the database before...

Tier two: 20 for an annual subscription service. This way I don't have to keep entering my debit card details every time I need to update the database.

I feel this would provide a best of both worlds solution.


That gets my vote.

I would also like to add that I feel that PocketGPSWorld are treating their contributors with contempt, but I'll get over that :P
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MarkHewitt
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan_Gleebitz wrote:


Sir, don't take this the wrong way, but I would suggest you read your own posts before you respond. Such as the one you made four above this where you stated the following.


Sigh.. yet again. I didn't say I objected to the amount. READ IT AGAIN. I object to being charged EVERY TIME I download.

Before I suggest basic comprehension classes I would suggest we both understand each others points so arguing over semantics at this point is futile.
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srgi
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This "professionalisation" is a bad idea for a "hobby site"

does not matter how much you charge, most if not all members would not feel home no more.
No one would interest to support a commercial site, because you give them money again which they already charge you.
How about pay me some money if i upload some new camera, or helping others to solve their problem.

No offends & have a good day.

regards
srgi
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teecee90
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Joined: Nov 02, 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very disappointing, but inevitable. Sad
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