Copenhagen shares code and da…

Copenhagen shares code and data bike navigation app

24/05/2014

The Danish capital, Copenhagen, has been making available the open source code for its bicycle navigation app, I Bike CPH. The app will be demonstrated at Traffic Jam Session, a public transport innovation hackathon next week Tuesday to Thursday in the Swedish city of Malmö.

The Technical and Environmental Department of the City of Copenhagen has created a website and iPhone/Android app for navigating in the city, and the rest of Denmark. The service is based on data from OpenStreetMap data and is made available as open source. The app can easily be adapted to be used by other municipalities, including in other countries, says Emil Tin, an IT and Process Specialist for the city and project manager of I Bike CPH routeplanner project.

The IT specialist Tin will be demonstrating I Bike CPH all Tuesday in Malmö. "I will bring the I Bike CPH routeplanner, to demonstrate for example how to search for bicycle routes, the use of map tiles and how to calculate alternative routes using Openstreetmap data."

Green wave

In Malmö, Tin will talk about upcoming features, such as the option to combine realtime traffic signals with GPS, showing the cyclist when he will get a green light at an intersection. "We're also planning to add tracking, allowing users to see how much they've cycled, average speed and health benefits. This information can be shared anonymously with us, so we can use it to coordinate traffic lights to create green waves.

Tin will also show how to use the city's application programming interface to compute routes for bikes, or tailor a route for cargo bikes. The application is able to plan routes avoiding cobblestone streets and show streets that are one way for bikes. It can be modified to show a route including parks and other green areas, and take into account pollution data.

Bike app with autocomplete

The department is making the code available to others using the Github code repository. The software is shared using the Mozilla Public License 2.0. The software uses Ruby on Rails, Backbone, OSRM, OpenStreetMap and CartoCSS. Apart from a web app, Copenhagen is making available the source code for apps for iOS and Android smartphones. "We chose the Mozilla licence because we hope companies will be interested to re-use the application."

The city council decided to develop the application in November 2011, Tin says. The code for the working application was uploaded to Github in early 2012. "We built it for Copenhagen and its immediate vicinity, but it could immediately be used for all of Denmark." As far as he knows, no other Danish town has yet re-used the software. "That is why we're going to hackathons such as the one in Malmö, to get the word out. The app is not immediately ready for use in say, Brussels, but it won't take too much tweaks to make it work. It would require switching to a different geolocation service, for we're now taking that from the Danish Geodata Agency, because it offers autocomplete functionality."

 

More information:

I Bike CPH app
I Bike CPH on Github
Traffic Jam Session, Malmo Sweden on 27 May 2014
Copenhagen Council decision (in Danish)
Open Source Routing Machine
Basic Data Programme of the Danish Geodata Agency (in Danish)

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