Making Glasgow more Active. Glasgow Cycling was an output of our work on the £24 million Future City Project in our home city of Glasgow.
The overall aim of the Active Travel Demonstrator in the Future City Project was to develop ways a city can be less reliant on carbon based transit. So ideally by improving the amount of running, cycling and walking. This is an important area for the public sector for several reasons such as health, environment and congestion.
Using the smartphone in the pocket of Glasgow cyclists we gathered data for an Open API that could be used to make Glasgow a cycling city.
With some initial research and a stack of assumptions, we created an API (using Ruby on Rails) and an iOS app to track, search and find routes in only 4 weeks. Sure, V1 certainly wasn't pretty, but it was functional. Our goals here were to test technical feasability of our approach and some of our assumptions of what makes a great cycling app.
Add Jam worked closely with the Active Travel lead, Mark Irwin, to identify the user groups the app should be engaging. With this ground work we had a keen group of stakeholders from across the city of Glasgow ready to use the app and work with us on the product development journey.
V1 allowed us to learn - live from real users and stakeholders. This was an important step in developing Glasgow Cycling; we found issues with the data we were gathering. We discovered bottle necks in performance and we itentified problems with the route tracking UI. Learnings from this allowed us to improve the product immeasurably
We took the learnings and iterated several times to achieve an end product that was easy to use but also able to produce useful open data. We expanded the Glasgow Cycling product by making a real time dashboard displaying up-to-date cycling information for the city.
How we made it.
The mobile apps created for Glasgow Cycling product are fully native. On iOS the apps are made using ObjectiveC and on Android we used Java.
The Glasgow Cycling API and admin panel use Ruby on Rails and are hosted on Glasgow City Council Azure infrastructure using Docker. The dashboard was made using Emberjs.
Glasgow Cycling demonstrator ran from November 2014 to December 2015 with over 1000 cyclists in Glasgow taking part to map almost 10,000km of our city. The data collected throughout the demonstrator has been made open source along with all code (iOS, Android and the Rails API). Project code is available on the Open Glasgow Github..