Alex Bikes

Ottawa bike politics.

What I’ll be hacking on tomorrow


I thought I’d explain here the three things I’ll be hacking on at the Ottawa Hackfest tomorrow (from 1-4pm).


1. Ottawa Pedestrian Problems

This is a port of my Ottawa Biking Problems site for pedestrian purposes. The hope is that this will turn into a tool like OBP that feeds into the city’s Roads and Cycling Advisory Committee, but for pedestrians. The whole Rescue Bronson mess is part of the motivation for this; I’m a supporter but not an organizer.

The discussion and idea for this comes from Charles Akben-Marchand, Lana Stewart (who I have never met face-to-face) and Alex Graham-Hughes, not me. Lana’s registered the domain, and we’re somewhat ready to get started on this. Ideally, I’d do nearly nothing on this after the launch, I’m just too busy with other things.

My goal is to leave City Hall with the app setup in WordPress ready to accept complaints.

That said, I have nothing about pedestrian lobbying, I’m just busy with biking stuff.

2. Chart generation for the Laurier counter

A somewhat silent victory of the city’s Open Data program has been the pseudo-release of daily streaming 15-minute increments of the bike counter on Laurier at Metcalfe. There’s already a daily counter, but the resolution is poor and the UI awful. With the better data, you can create some charts like below.

Right now, the incoming CSV files get transferred once a day from Eco-Counter in France, you can see them here. The idea would be to do cute things with it, like a daily tweet or more complete charts.

3. Bike map generation

I feel a bit bad about this, but the City release full SHP files of all the bike routes in Ottawa. This was under heavy pressure from folks like me, and I haven’t done much with them yet.

The idea would be to figure out a crowd sourcing application so we could update it. I’m much more familiar with Google Maps than I am with Open Map or anything else. And I can’t help but think that an online SHP/KML wiki thing exists. Hopefully someone can offer advice on this.

4. Anything else

I’ll talk to anyone.

I’ll be the guy with the MacBook Pro and probably a blue bike helmet. I know pretty much all languages except Java, and my entire career is in Linux. Say hello.


One response to “What I’ll be hacking on tomorrow

  1. Mary Beth Baker December 2, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Can’t wait to get started solving the issue of my almost daily near-death experiences walking to work. Excited to find out how I can help 🙂

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