Google Maps Bike There…for a safer, healthier, happier world. :-)

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Archive for February, 2008

Français

February 29, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Uncategorized

Thank you to Pierre Noirat for making a French translation for us so quickly - staying up until 1 am local time to get it done!

Hopefully we’ve made it just a bit easier for French speakers to join our cause. Wikipedia tells us that there are quite a few French speakers out there:

French (français, pronounced [fʁɑ̃sɛ]) is a Romance language originally spoken in France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland, and today by about 350 million people around the world as either a native or a second language,[7] with significant populations in 54 countries.

Check out Pierre’s cool bicycle t-shirt boutique and blog with lots of bicycle goodness (http://www.pierrequiroule.net), and for us foreign language-challenged folks, there’s an international version in English (http://www.velolove.net). [Don't quote me on this, but I believe 'vélo' is at least one of the terms for 'bicycle' in French.]

Thanks again, Pierre!

kluster, and TED

February 29, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Uncategorized

kluster is a crowdsourcing startup in Burlington, Vermont. What do they do? From their process page:

kluster is a place to harness the power of community collaboration to get stuff done. everyone has ideas, we provide a platform to get them out of heads and into the world…where they belong.

we initially built kluster to facilitate large group decision-making during product development, marketing/advertising initiatives, and event planning. then, after the system got its algorithmic brain, we realized it was powerful in virtually any decision-making activity, with groups large or small.

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is an invitation-only conference held annually in Monterey, California. They invite speakers in all sorts of fields to give ‘the talk of their lives’ in 18 minutes or less. I wholeheartedly recommend watching some/most/all of their videos - so many are so good. TED 2008 is going on right now.

kluster just officially launched a few days ago, and it will be used by TED attendees this year.

TechCrunch has a good rundown on what kluster is all about.

Maybe we should look at using kluster to design the ultimate Google Maps ‘Bike There’ feature?

Email Sent to Google

February 29, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Uncategorized

At least one commenter and one emailer have suggested that Google is already planning to release this feature in 2008, and asked if/why someone did not just contact Google to ask?

I am not a member of ‘the formal Press’, so I do not have a press contact for Google, and cannot use the email address they reserve for press inquiries (you can find it by searching their site).

So, I did the first best thing I could think of, which was to post about this petition to the Google Maps Help Group - which is an implicit question to Google and the Google Maps team. I have seen Google Maps representatives respond directly to user requests in the past, so this is a viable option, I think.

Today I sent an email to Google using the email form that can be found here.

Yesterday I remembered having heard about what I considered to be some type of ‘press sub-organization’ for Google Maps. The idea was, I thought I remembered, to help non-profits and advocacy groups around the world to help use Google Earth and Google Maps be effective in their campaigns. After some googling I stumbled upon the Google Earth Outreach program. This was the ‘sub-organization’ I was thinking of, though I’m honestly not too sure how it all works. Later today or perhaps tomorrow I’ll post a question to one of the forums specific to this Google Earth Outreach program and see if we can find anything out there.

Until we find out for sure whether or not Google decides to implement this feature, I think it is probably a good idea to continue to build broad-based support for this feature request, so that at a minimum we can all remain in touch with each other and help organize ourselves to see bicycle route mapping happen for every city and town (and even rural areas) on earth.

Please keep up the good work. As of right now we’re up to 3,721 signatures, and the locations continue to diversify.

I believe we have a volunteer to do a French translation and I would love to have other languages.

Soon I will add a page listing all of the various bicycle route mapping services that exist - ones that I know of and others that you let me know of (thank you to those of you who have already notified me about all of these other services).

Thank you!

Favicon

February 28, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Uncategorized

Yes, we now have a favicon - the most important aspect of any web presense.  :)

Thanks to the folks at Dynamic Drive.

Facebook Cause

February 28, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Uncategorized

Check out the Facebook Cause page, and send some love to your friends.  :)

Milwaukee, not Madison

February 28, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Uncategorized

Someone pointed out that byCycle maps Milwaukee, not Madison. Doh! My bad. Sorry.

Email Signatures

February 26, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Uncategorized

You can help spread the word by using an email signature with a link to the petition and/or this website.

If you are a Facebooker or MySpacer or Orkuter or Beboer or any other social networker, you might consider dropping a link to the petition and/or this website in your profile somewhere.

Cheers.

…uh, and forgot to mention, if you are a blogger, then please feel free to blog about our collective efforts. :)

Translations

February 26, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Uncategorized

I’d like to get the petition translated and put on the website. The first language I’d like to see is Spanish, but we should probably translate it into the most common languages. And it’d be nice to have a small introduction section in each language, as well - maybe just the blurb from the ‘About’ section in the upper right:

GoogleMapsBikeThere.org was created to ask Google to help us make the world safer for bicyclists by adding bicycle routes to Google Maps. Please sign the petition if you have not done so yet, and subscribe to this blog so you can keep abreast of progress and how you can help. The ‘Bike There’ is because that is the option we want to see added to Google Maps, along with ‘Drive There’ and ‘Take Public Transit’.

Once we get the translations, we’ll probably just add pages along the top that link to each. The effort is not so much because it is strictly necessary - as I think the most common world language may now be English - but having the translations will show respect for all the people of the world contributing to this effort.

p.s. Commenter, Guy Spencer, found a typo in the petition. I sent an email to try to get it repaired, but not sure it will happen. It’s not a major problem, but nonetheless, my apologies.

…I forgot to mention the obvious - if you know a foreign language and you’d like to do a translation, please contact me and I’ll help coordinate - just to make sure nobody does the same work twice. Thank you! :)

Banners

February 25, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Uncategorized

Please feel free to put these up wherever you can. It’s probably best if they link directly to the petition. I’ll try to post more sizes and HTML snippets when I get a chance.

Cheers.

468 x 60

Google Maps 'Bike There' Feature Request

…New banner ads will be posted on the ‘Banners’ page.

Spreading the word

February 25, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Uncategorized

If you have any ideas on how to systematically spread the word about the petition, I’m all ears.

For starters, I posted a message to the Google Maps ‘How do I?’ Help Group - Googlers sometimes respond to these posts.

And I think someone may have alerted folks from the BicycleAustin.info mailing list, but I’ll double-check and send a quick follow-up if need be.

I’ll post to the BikePortland.org forums, soon, but I was wondering if there was a good way to go about making sure everyone had a chance to find out about the petition? I honestly can’t think of one - or, I can’t think of a good one.