Android users are continuing to reap the spoils. Google has already offered free turn-by-turn GPS navigation for android based phones. Now they have released an app which helps android based users find open parking spots. Google released a new application called Open Spot, which updates the Google maps interface to show vacant spots within a close parameter (1.5km or 0.9 of a mile).
The idea is that Google Maps, which is already known for it’s GPS locator, finds where you are, and allows the user to post when they when they are about to leave a spot. As referenced in Mashables, this can only really take off if multiple users within a given area, utilizing this app. If you are the only person in your neighborhood or town that uses this, you wouldn’t really gain any advantage in finding parking, and thus be in the same position than not having Open Spot.
Where Google May Be Going With This
Just to back track a little bit. As previously referenced, Google’s Android operating system is an open-sourced platform. Meaning that the source code, or as wikipedia defines it “the collection of statements or declarations written in some human-readable computer programming language,” is open for the general public to use and manipulate. This allows practially anyone with programming skills to easily write programs for the Android market. Most programs, or operating systems, like Windows, or other popular ones are closed sourced, meaning that only people within the company possess knowledge of the code. Programming and application making is left to the people.
What this means for us
While Google isn’t the first to do this, part of this shows that open source programs are gaining more ground. The further democratization of the marketplace, and many aspects of technology in general is arguably a very positive thing. The average joe is having a greater role in shaping the technology and programs around him or her. Have the ability to place a dot on Google to help others find parking shows that we are making progress in crafting and creating technology to be more relevant to us, which I hope we can continue doing. Do you think this will catch on?