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Text-based Bicing query

I love the Bicing service here in Barcelona. However, I think its station search system could be improved. I made this simple web service that I hope may be of help for frequent Bicing users.

Bicing.cat offers a searchable map of all the bicing stations. However, it doesn’t seem to be very mobile-friendly, and they have not released official mobile applications, though there are unofficial ones for most smart phones (some of them are very good).

An application for Blackberry appeared just a couple of months ago (even when the Bicing service have been working for more than two years). Unfortunately, it requires the GPS to resolve current location before showing any results, and you cannot manually search for a location (by the way, the GPS in my 8900 sucks, it takes forever to resolve). A friend with a Blackberry with no GPS have had problems making it work (UPDATE: there’s a cool app that solves this using if Google Maps works in your phone).

Since I’m a frequent Bicing user, I decided to solve this by myself with this simple web service: www.jpcarrascal.com/b. You just have to type a valid Barcelona adress an submit it. The service will tell show you the nearest stations around that point (within a radius of about 1 kilometer) and will show the number of bikes and spaces available in all of them.

This service is meant to be very simple and lightweight, so don’t expect any fancy maps. It requires you to already know a bit about the system, but it’s quick and works.

I hope you enjoy it.

PS.: This is my first try at php and the Google Maps API. I’d be glad to receive any comments!

5 thoughts on “Text-based Bicing query

  1. Nice to know you like BBicing 🙂

    Good work also with your web service for querying the Bicing stations. How did you manage to query the bicing database? Parsing the page?

    By the way, i have also developed a new app with a mate which you might be interested in. It’s called Nomad Analytics and allows you to check google analytics data on blackberry. There’s a 24h trial if you want to give it a try.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Guillem.
      Thanks for your comment and sorry for taking soooo much before answering. I’m not using Blackberry anymore, but sounds interesting. Are you working on Android to?
      Regarding bicing, I’m currently scrapping their webpage 🙂

      Bye!

      JP

  2. Hi! it’s cool that you decided to do this app. Do you know if they provide any other way of querying their service? like a webservice, odata, or even plain text? i’d like to do a small mobile app to do something similar but with an interface to show you were you are, etc
    how did you manage to get the info? thx 🙂

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