Google Releases OpenSpot for Android to Find Empty Parking Spot

by on July 10, 2010
in Android

android-logoWho thought bots would be guiding us where to find a place for Parking? Guess what, Google is here to serve the cause. Today Google released a new app for their Android operating system titled Open Spot. This app would let users find a vacant spot for parking by marking any nearby spot so other users can see and approach it. This is similar to the you-help-me-i-help-you system, in which users parking the car will indicate on their app all the nearby vacant parking spots which will be seen by other users using the same app and present in the area to get a chance to park their vehicles at the marked spot.

This free application comes from Google Labs, and is available as a free download (download the app here). The UI is simple, with parking spots marked by others viewable in different colors, icons distinguished by the fact that how long ago the parking spot was marked by a user near it. A red dot signifies a freshly-marked spot, while orange pin shows the spot marked 5 minutes ago. A yellow pin represents a spot marked 10 minutes ago. When 20 minutes have passed (which seems a little bit long especially in busy downtown areas with a lot of people coming and going) and the spot mark hasn’t been removed yet, it will be automatically be removed from showing on other users’ Open Spot app.


An issue comes here of the false spots being marked, may be out of fun by users to for some mischief, causing people problems. However, Google addresses this issue in the FAQ for the Open Spot app and says that they’ve got some mechanisms to make sure that this kind of situation doesn’t arise. Google has also setup a karma based reward based system for users who correctly mark free spots, and while initially no reward is being given out to users, one can surely expect the Open Spot development team to introduce one in the near future. The total coverage area in which the vacant marked spots would be seen by the users is set to be 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles). The application updates the maps location as the user moves.

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