Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Editor's note: Today’s guest blogger is Dan Hubert, CEO and co-founder of AppyParking. Read how AppyParking is using Google Maps APIs to help more than 100,000 drivers find real-time available parking spots in congested London areas and show general parking information across 10 nationwide cities.
Parking in London is notoriously challenging. I’ve had to circle the block dozens of times before finding a spot. One night before a show at the Royal Albert Hall is particularly memorable – there was a yellow line on the curb that spanned hundreds of yards in front of the venue, but it wasn’t clear if I could park there. After parking, I found a sign two streets down, saying parking was permitted, but only during the specific window I was there.
This was one of many experiences that inspired me to create AppyParking, a mobile app that uses Google Maps APIs to help drivers across the United Kingdom understand parking regulations and find open spaces. AppyParking serves as a comprehensive database for parking information, detailing what colored curbs mean and the specific rules depending on the time of day. The app color codes parking spots to show drivers where there’s free parking, where restrictions apply and where special types of spaces – such as electric-car charging and motorbike spots – are located. For example, red means restricted, and green means free.
My co-founder, Enric Requena, and I chose Google Maps APIs for the mapping solution to provide rich, reliable data that’s accessible via a user-friendly interface. The app pulls data in varying formats from many sources, so Enric and I developed the Parking Platform, which converts different formats into a usable API. That data is integrated and layered on top of Google Maps using Google Places Autocomplete API for Android, iOS and the web.
Google Street View shows users where free parking spots are from a 360-degree view and street view. The Directions API is particularly useful in providing driving directions to open parking spots.
We’re also helping commercial fleets find parking information, reduce time spent looking for spots and improve fleet productivity. Fleets pay more than four million pounds per year in parking fines, so knowing where parking is available is extremely valuable for their bottom line.
AppyParking has helped more than 100,000 users find parking spaces faster and with less stress. We’ll continue to expand our app to provide more actionable information for drivers and have added confidence knowing that we can rely on Google Maps tools.