City cycle mapping – a more ambitious approach?

Brainstorm:

The idea here is just to share with you some first information for your use and eventual comment on a cycle mapping and information technique that is highly ambitious but that might be something you have in mind even as we try to push our “every city should have a bike map” campaign. It is pretty ambitious and not cheap to put into place, but if you bear in mind that it works with iPhones, Android, etc. if you are an urban cyclist you can see that it can be pretty handy thing to have in your pocket.

You will find an introduction to this bike mapping capability, Géovélo, at http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/2011/04/15/editorial-best-city-cycling-map-known-to-me/. I invite you to check it out.

The idea at the back of my head is to see if we might be able to develop such a system in a partnership project in one or two cities in Italy which I take as an example since we have just created our Association there last week – but also, why not, perhaps in China, Spain, Taiwan, etc., etc.. Once up and working these could then serve as a sort of beacon to other cities in the country in question (since we always see that good projects replicate far more quickly and surely if there is a working example nearby.)

Suppose, by way of example and since we have team members there, we tried to start with an Italian city in which we have some kind of contacts or leverage. For example, Bergamo (Enrico), Florence (Marco dM), or maybe some other to get started.

Here is the process as I understand it. (I am copying this to Gale Sauvanet of Géovélo so that he can correct, extend these quick first words as he thinks appropriate). Step by step:

1. You start with your chosen city, its streets, and street maps. (You have selected this city because you think that this kind of tool could be useful there.)

2. You then inspect the street map situation there – print, on line, public transport, bikes? Etc.

3. A good first step is to go to http://www.openstreetmap.org/ – where you then put your city name into the search box and check out what you have.

1. That brings up the latest Open Street map – good..

2. But it may need work (and that is most likely, but anyway we have to start somewhere).

3. The next step is to develop a local team (hopefully with funding from the city and their full support) in which you complete the map for full street coverage.

4. In parallel, the team can develop information on the degree of “bikability” of each street (one would like to think that a lot of this would already be available as a result of the work done on the manual city cycling map which I hope we will be trying to promote in every city in the country and the world.)

5. So now, you have all this vital information – and a quick glance again at the Paris map and its offerings is maybe a good reminder at this point — http://vgps.paris.fr/

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