ACT has supplied a mammoth dataset for levy-funded bike-shop-finding iPhone app. IBDs should check their location is spot on.

Bike shops urged to check they exist

The Bike Hub levy’s iPhone app is now ‘in review’ on Apple’s App Store, meaning it will be available for downloading in a matter of days. The app is a cycle journey planner using an open source map that includes cycle routes, and it’s also a bike shop finder, locating IBDs within a six mile radius of any iPhone which has downloaded the app.

In short, it’s a ‘cycle satnav’.

The names and locations of British independent bicycle dealers were supplied for import into OpenStreetMap by the Association of Cycle Traders. More than 2500 bike shops are now listed but for greatest accuracy, bike shops are being urged to check the correct location details are shown.

Bike shop locations were created with postcodes provided in the dataset but, on the ground, actual locations can be different to that suggested by Royal Mail. As cyclists will be guided to bike shops via postcodes it’s important that shops check that OpenStreetMap has an exact geo-location.

The Bike Hub iPhone app uses routing created by and mapping created by the OpenCycleMap project, a cycle-friendly version of OpenStreetMap. OpenCycleMap already has many bike shops listed and named on a bike shop layer, and the data supplied by the ACT, has added to the accuracy of this layer.

Here’s a preview of how a cyclist might navigate from Kings Cross to the Look No Hands Mum bike shop on Old Street, London.

The import of the ACT bike shops data was handled by Cyclestreets.

Martin Lucas-Smith of Cyclestreets said:

"We are enormously grateful for the ACT for this data. There’s a web app for the specific purpose of merging this data into OSM. This web app helps OpenStreetMap contributors to map all of the bike shops in the UK. As all of the shops supplied are only as accurate as the postcode, an import would not be good.

"OpenStreetMap as a community tends to be cautious about mass imports of data because it can clash with existing data. A large number of bike shops are already in OSM, and so this data should help get full coverage more quickly."

Lucas-Smith gives instructions on how contributors can help with the data checking here.

"At present the bike shop data coming from the ‘places’ part of our API is the raw dataset we received from the ACT, as merging into OSM naturally takes time. Once that is done, however, we will internally switch to pulling the data from OSM as it will have increased accuracy then."

The Bike Hub app will be a free download. Bike Hub is the UK cycle industry’s levy scheme. Cash from this levy pays for pro-cycling projects across the UK.

After the release of the iPhone app, an Android app will be developed.

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