Sunday, January 17, 2010 4:22:41 AM
Since becoming an Android user I've been making good use of QR codes and Google's Zing barcode scanner.
One of the things I find it useful for is copying links from PC to phone.
Being lazy it began with adding http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/
as a Web Panel in Opera so to always have an QR code generator accessible at all times.
But then that became too much of an effort.
So today I've created a bookmarklet to generate a QR code for the page being viewed that can be launched with only one click.
Simply create a bookmark on your toolbar with the following code rather than an URL so it can be open up a QR code when required.
I'm using it on Android but there are QR Code readers for Android, iPhone, Symbian and most J2ME camera phones.
Monday, September 21, 2009 9:33:22 AM
The Dublin Bikes scheme launched last week with great success. The scheme, a partnership between JCDecaux and Dublin City council, is similar bike sharing schemes in Paris (where it's known as Velib), Seville and Vienna.
Excitedly I attempted to try one of these bikes out last Sunday but I couldn't remember where the nearest station was, checking the dublinbikes.ie site from my mobile phone was no use as it only works from a desktop. Then once I found the station on foot, I was unable to purchase a ticket as only some stations have ticket vending capabilities.
It struck me that I would be really useful if there was a mobile phone site that provided station location and bike availability information to people on the go. I'm not an iPhone user so don't think in apps, and wanted something that was accessable from all mobile devices, doesn't matter if it's Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, LG, Motorola, HTC, Apple or Sagem. After digging around the dublinbikes.ie Google Map page I discovered that it used two sources of XML to know 1.) where the stations were and 2.) what the status of the station was.
Armed with this information I set about creating http://www.dublin-bikes.mobi
, however this was soon changed to http://dublinbikes2go.com
. It took one night to create the first version listing the stations and avability and showing a small Google Map of their location. After some feedback from boards.ie users extra features were added, such as finding the nearest stations to the one you are viewing, searching for the nearest station and showing how far away in meters that station is from the point you searched for.
The 'piece de restance' was added last night with the addition of Geo-Location support for iPhone and Android users. Users with either of those platforms can click one link to find the nearest bike station to them.
To speed things up I created a database to hold the bike information and update it perodically, thus improving the page load speed and reducing the load on the official site's servers. The location services are utilizing Google Maps API's geocoding service and the Google Maps Static API for the images.
So far I've had some really good feedback and have incorporated as much as possible to give the best user experience, please try it for yourself: http://dublinbikes2go.com