Parking Space Woes?  There's an Android App for That

Parking Space Woes? There's an Android App for That

Looking for an open parking spot? There's an Android app for that. No, there's no iPhone app, only an Android one; sorry, for once Android has a leg up on the iPhone.

Indeed, it's called Open Spot, and it could prove really useful to folks in parking spot limited locales. It's a Google Labs app, which means it's experimental, so keep that in mind.

Users of the app let folks know when they are leaving a spot. Google marks the open spots on the map with red pins for newly opened spots, orange pin for spots that have been open for more than five minutes and yellow pins after ten minutes. After 20 minutes, the spot is removed from the map. Those living in San Francisco might think 20 minutes is a little generous, and Google acknowledges it on their Open Spot FAQ page.

For those who are competitive, or just like a pat on the back for their good deed, you can earn “karma points” for broadcasting your open spots. Your karma points are displayed in the app (as shown above).


The app only went live Friday, and Google already has taken into account the fact that some folks might have a perverse sense of humor and mark spots open that are not. The Open Spot team has already named them: griefers.
We’re watching for behavior that looks like a griefer spoofing parking spots. We have a couple of mechanisms available to make sure someone can’t leave a bunch of fake parking spots. If we see this happening we will take steps to fix it.
As with anything like this, to be truly useful, it needs to have a lot of users. So grab the app and start pointing out your "open spot."
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Nice tech, but doesn't seem all that practical. I mean, out of all the drivers looking for and leaving a parking spot, how many have Android phones? How many of those will have this app, and how many of THOSE will remember to use it?? I could be wrong though. Would be pleasantly surprising if this becomes popular.

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I agree with Sackyhack, this won't work out too well. People will start getting lazy and some are in a hurry and won't bother with using this. Also karma for what, they can't be used for anything so thats just useless i guess.

if i got the app... i might just mark done spots that are already filled to prank someone... :P lol

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I disagree. I think this might be useful if you don't want to spend a lot of time looking for a parking space in such a large place oh let's say a theme park or a shopping center. Only then will the people who actually have an Android phone will get all of the empty parking spaces. :P

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I can see in the future, this actually becoming something that is tied into a cars GPS system. Imagine if Ford began to have something like this in their cars, since they already have a "computer" in them.

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Slightly different concept, but http://whereamiparked.com/ will help you remember where your *own* car is parked, and how long you've been there ~ an especially useful feature for metered parking spots.

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