Glasgow Cycling

Making Glasgow a cycle friendly city through open data

Glasgow Cycling Header

Pioneering Urban Cycling with Glasgow Cycling: An Active Travel Demonstrator Project

In the ambitious Future City Project, Add Jam embarked on an initiative aimed at transforming Glasgow into a city less dependent on carbon-based transportation. Recognizing the significant benefits for health, the environment, and congestion reduction, the Active Travel Demonstrator project focused on enhancing the infrastructure for running, cycling, and walking, with a particular emphasis on cycling.

Harnessing Smartphone Technology for Urban Cycling

Leveraging the ubiquity of smartphones, Add Jam devised a strategy to collect valuable cycling data from Glasgow's residents. By developing an Open API, the team laid the groundwork for a comprehensive cycling database, aiming to position Glasgow as a leading cycling city. This endeavor was supported by the creation of an iOS app designed to track, search, and find cycling routes, demonstrating the practical application of the API in encouraging cycling activities.

Rapid Development and Iteration

The initial phase of the project saw the swift development of the API using Ruby on Rails and the iOS app within a mere four weeks. Although the first version (V1) prioritized functionality over aesthetics, it served as a crucial test bed for assessing the technical feasibility of the project and validating assumptions about what constitutes an effective cycling app.

Engaging with the Community

Collaboration with Active Travel lead, Mark Irwin, facilitated a deep understanding of the app's target user groups. This collaboration ensured that the development process was grounded in the real needs and preferences of Glasgow's cycling community. A group of dedicated stakeholders from across the city actively engaged with the app, providing invaluable insights that guided the project's evolution.

Learning from Real-World Usage

The deployment of V1 was instrumental in gathering live feedback from users and stakeholders. This process unveiled challenges related to data accuracy, app performance, and the route tracking interface. These insights were pivotal in refining the app, addressing bottlenecks, and enhancing the user experience.

Evolution and Expansion

Building on the lessons learned, Add Jam iteratively improved the Glasgow Cycling app, culminating in a user-friendly product that not only facilitated cycling route discovery but also contributed to the generation of useful open data. A significant milestone in the project was the development of a real-time dashboard, providing up-to-date cycling information and insights for the city of Glasgow.

Conclusion: A Model for Active Urban Living

The Glasgow Cycling project exemplifies how technology can be leveraged to promote active travel and transform urban environments. Through a combination of innovative data collection, community engagement, and continuous improvement, Add Jam has contributed to making Glasgow a more cycle-friendly city. This project serves as a blueprint for other cities aiming to reduce reliance on carbon-based transit, highlighting the role of digital solutions in fostering healthier, more sustainable urban communities.




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