Free day has arrived. Download now! →
The Chicago Bike Map app for iPhone is free all day Friday
Free day on Friday
The Chicago Bike Map app will be free all day on Friday, September 7, in preparation for the Open Streets on State Street event on Saturday, September 8, 2012. The event, in the same location as last year, has been slightly expanded, with a car-free segment on Monroe Street straight to the Lakefront Trail. If you don’t want to wait, you can download the app now for 99 cents and get access to...
Chicagoist features my app →
New web home for the Chicago Offline Bike Map →
Please update your links, RSS feeds, and bookmarks. This Tumblr will be taken down by the end of July.
Amazon versus Google Play, app size limits
While doing research on how to create an Android version of the app, I discovered some difficulty: the Google Play store only accepts apps up to 50 MB, but allows developers to extend that to 4 GB using the APK Expansion File method. I looked into that and saw that I would have to be linking in a couple other libraries, running lots of checks to see if the expansion files are downloaded,...
Oops, forgot a buffered bike lane
I forgot to classify the Wells Street bike lane from Chicago Avenue to the river as a buffered bike lane. That will be corrected in the version after v0.3 (currently awaiting approval). In other news, though, I signed up for App Annie which tracks statistics. It says that of all the paid apps in the Reference category, the Chicago Offline Bike Map is ranked 385. I bet a few more positive...
Why I built the Offline Bike Map
Originally posted on The Chainlink. James BlackHeron said: The biggest issue I have with Google Maps is the fact that they tend to be ridiculous when it comes to routing. It will not let you go even 10-feet worth of contra-flow on a 1-way street and this really makes some routing very difficult. I’ve resorted to just writing down loose instructions on paper with one of those...
Bugs squashed, bike lanes updated, v0.3 on its way
I believe I’ve squashed all the bugs in v0.2. I just finished uploading v0.3 to the iTunes Store and got an email saying it’s “Waiting for Review”. I hope it doesn’t take 8 days this time. In addition to bug fixing, I’ve updated the icons and launch images to reflect the green bikeway scheme. I’ve also updated the Elston Avenue and 55th Street bike lanes...
Another bug + Android on the way
I found another bug today when I was testing out the app on my friend’s iPhone 4S. I opened the CTA page and tried to type in the name of a station. The page wasn’t having it. I tried it on the Metra page; same problem. I didn’t recall this being an issue when I tested the app on my iPhone 3GS before uploading v0.2 to the iTunes Store, nor in the iPhone Simulator. So I tried it...
A few people have emailed me asking for Android support. Okay, how many of you want it for the Chicago Offline Bike Map?
Somehow I was able to get the word out Friday and Saturday, as 101 people downloaded the Chicago Offline Bike Map. It’s back to $0.99, but I hope you enjoy using it and can recommend it to your friends. I am working on fixing the bugs for the next version, and I will update the map tiles with the latest bike lanes. There’s something weird with the way Apple recognizes time zones: I...
Chicago Offline Bike Map is now free, all day... →
Download it now. Then tell your friends about it the next day (it’ll be 99 cents after Saturday).
The Chicago Offline Bike Map will be free for 24 hours, on Saturday, July 7, 2012. If you like the app, tell your friends to download it. If you haven’t tried the app, this would be a great time to try it. The next version, v0.3, will be released later in July. It will have the latest bike lanes (55th Street under construction right now), two bug fixes. I don’t plan to have any new...
The v0.2 update is complete, has been uploaded, and now awaits Apple’s review for inclusion in the iTunes App Store. It won’t be immediately available upon approval, as I want to ready a marketing push for the app’s changes. I will announce it here when it’s available, although you will receive a notification from your iOS device or iTunes that a new version is ready to...
Hold up before next version can be published
I’m waiting for the latest version of the bikeways data. If I’m going to spend a lot of time producing a new version I should probably have the latest locations of bike lanes in Chicago. There’ve been several installs of protected and buffered bike lanes since the last data dump in February 2012 (the version in the current app). I asked the city two weeks ago for the data,...
Setbacks but I'm still progressing
I had a setback for a couple of days when I was modifying code to improve the function of the train station markers. I finally figured it out after taking a day-long break. I’ve got a lot more points of interest to add. Then finalize the new map tiles. And then publish. So now I’m looking to submit the revision to iTunes on Monday. With the map tiles, I’m making them so the CTA...
Points of interest
The points of interest are currently: An assortment of 10 neighborhoods to help you zoom in faster (although there is a “find me” function) Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum Field Museum Museum of Science and Industry DuSable Museum Harold Washington Cultural Center Chicago Cultural Center Museum of Contemporary Art City Hall Millennium Park Bike Station Velodrome Fixit station...
I forgot a bikeway type
I noticed something wrong with the appearance of my map tiles when I launched the app. Between green line segments of the Jackson Boulevard protected bike lane, there was a very thin orange line segment. I finally figured out what this is and fixed it. The orange line segment, which also exists on Wabash Avenue, is a buffered bike lane. When I was styling the map tiles, I didn’t style the...
A map legend and upcoming features
I got my first piece of feedback today from an app user. He was a bit frustrated, and I understood his frustration because there are some missing pieces in the app that help you learn how to use it. First thing that’s missing? A legend that tells you what the different color lines mean. I’ll be adding that to v0.2 of the app. Here’s the legend: Green line - Cycle tracks (also...
Four days of sale, 19 copies sold
This makes me really excited. Since launching the app, I’ve worked over 30 hours on making it prettier and more useful, all without adding a single feature that requires a data connection. Right now, I’ve got a semi-working Chicago Transit Authority train stations layer, and a “locate me” function (that uses cell tower triangulation if you have wifi and data turned...
First day sales
The app went for sale at 15h on Monday, April 16, 2012. First day sales are in, 11 copies sold! Now I’m waiting for 24 hour sales. Thanks everyone for buying the app and for some of the feedback you’ve provided so far. Since submitting v0.1 I’ve already been working on improving the app. I will make another post listing the “must have” features for v0.2.