A handy guide on how to become a street data warrior!
Life is full of bumpy roads, eh? Especially life bicycling through New York City. As a soon to be graduating Masters student at NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), I’ve been working on a capstone project that focuses on classifying bike lane quality in order for city governments around the world to more cheaply, more efficiently, and more accurately maintain bicycle infrastructure.
I’ll skip over the part where I convince you that bicycling infrastructure is important, that’s for a longer write up. Let’s just assume it is for a healthy, functional, growing city.
This post goes into detail about how you or anyone else help improve bicycling infrastructure in your city.
Recipe for Digital Bike Lane Survey:
1. A Bike (w/helmet)
Ideally, it’d be free of any bike racks — we need a nice, unobstructed view in the front to detect those potholes and measure bike lane quality.
2. A Cell Phone
Any smart phone will do — we’ll be using the accelerometer and camera inside the phone. Sorry Nokia 3310 fans!
3. A mount
We’ve found that the Mpow bike cell phone mount is best — although if you’re in NYC and using CitiBike, we’ve also come up with a mount-less solution, as seen here:
4. The OpenStreetCam app (OSC)
Once you download the OSC app on your phone and create a an account, you should be all ready to collect street imagery data!
OSC Tips and Tricks:
Ideally, the phone should be oriented to capture as much of the street as possible, without capturing too much of the front wheel, or skyline ahead.
Once you’ve collected data for a route, you can upload the data when you reach a wifi connection, so you’re not overwhelming your cell phone data plan.
5. Submit data to the SQUID Google Form
Once you finish your bike lane survey, we need to get a your OSC username (to give you thanks!) and OSC track-id to ingest the data into our data pipes.
You can check your profile and track-ids on openstreetcam.org
Submit your data via SQUID Google form for California
Submit your data via SQUID Google form for New York
Feel free to respond here with any questions and concerns, and happy SQUID riding!