Soft Launch

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It is really annoying to be biking somewhere only to find out that the route you wanted to take is closed. It happens a lot more in winter as different paths are randomly plowed or not plowed, so when you get a big dump of snow you don’t really know if the way you want to go will work or not.

This is what I was thinking, over the Christmas holiday, pushing through 20cm of snow. What we need is a map of some kind that would show current path conditions. You know, like how the NCC updates the cross-country ski trail conditions in Gatineau Park twice a day? Oh – and maybe people could throw in their own ideas, write something up about the new lights that they just got?

I got on the web and looked around and found modalmom’s awesome site and a few others, discovered #ottbike, and felt a lot better about things. I still didn’t find any map.

And then the light went on…

Google’s got an API – and it’s free!

The city has KML data of all the bike routes – and it’s free!

WordPress lets you make web sites – and it’s free!

So I’ve been puttering around. But today I saw a map version of what I wanted to do for the Rideau Canal skateway and thought, right, let’s start rolling this thing out. So, enjoy the Ottawa Bike Route Conditions map, it still needs a lot of work and I hope to add much more of other stuff but you have to start somewhere.

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