I like automated city bike rental services. My new watch app for finding a bike within a city bike share scheme is available on the Pebble app store.
The data comes from pybikes which includes over 400 bike sharing networks around the world and has an awesome free API citybik.es. I wanted an app that could direct me to the nearest available bike or available parking spot using the compass. It uses GPS to find the nearest stations and you then use UP or DOWN to look for either nearby bikes or nearby parking spaces. The main problems were:
- stations are often empty or full
- the data tend to be slightly inaccurate so if it says there are 2 bikes left, they have probably already been rented or are faulty
The first station suggested is therefore the nearest station with more than 4 bikes or spaces.
As I said, I love the convenience promised by these services, but some bike networks really need to get their act together with lugging bikes from the bottom of the hill to the top. It seems really inefficient, but otherwise the service cannot be relied upon. Not finding a working bike is frustrating, but not being able to find a parking spot causes me immense stress. Service operators really ought to maintain a certain guaranteed quality of service or else refund subscribers.
- Refactor latitude / longitude code - see package bcaller/geodesy-spherical
- Cyrillic & Chinese alphabets - see package bcaller/pebble_unicode
- Pausing of updates
Source is at bcaller/pebble-bike-sharer.