Curbs Are Plentiful, But the Info About Them Isn’t Great. A New App Could Change That
Kyle Wiggers reports on the startup Coord, which developed an app called Surveyor to locate curbs and catalog information about them. Existing data leaves a lot to be desired, says Wiggers:
The trouble is, the data’s often incomplete, and in some cases erroneous. Trees and other obstructions obscure street signs. Miscalibrated vehicle headings make it tough (and sometimes impossible) to suss out locations. And curb cuts, loading zones, meter prices, and curb paint aren’t consistently visible from street level.
The app allows users to mark the start and end of a curb space and note any features. Surveyor then adds the location to a 3-D map. So far, Coord has gathered data on 12,000 curbs in San Francisco and Los Angeles, along with earlier data it collected from 200,000 curbs in various cities and 86 percent of tollways in the United States, reports Wiggers.
Coord’s broader goal is to provide data to public agencies and companies on different modes and street elements, says Wiggers:
Toll agencies can tap Coord’s APIs [application programming interface] to calculate toll prices and communicate them through an app, for example, and bike-sharing companies could leverage its location datasets to pinpoint stations on a map. And cities can use it to better allocate parking zones and manage the flow of traffic.
Surveyor is currently a subscription service that helps participating organizations and agencies develop local databases.