Promotional leaflets now available

trifoldYou can now download our latest Tri-fold leaflet to print and distribute.

The leaflet explains what BlueBadgeParking is and how you can benefit from it. It serves as a great introduction to our free service.

The leaflet is currently available in two versions – a UK English and an International English version.

(If you’d like to provide a translation of the text for us in another language, please get in touch).

[ A4 English version ] | [ A4 International version ]

Note that these are large – 40MB – downloads as the pdf files are professional print ready. They can, however, be printed on any printer.

The pdf even has a form field on the back where you can fill in your details to show who has printed and distributed the leaflets – thereby promoting your own organisation or just showing that you are supporting BlueBadgeParking.com

Calling all writers

Are you a blogger, journalist or writer for a website or magazine? We need your help…

We are looking for writers to help spread the word about BlueBadgeParking.com and we’ve put together a resource to make it easier for you.

As we have said many times before, we are entirely self funded and entirely free to use so we rely on the good will of our users to get the word out about the site. The more people that know about the site, the faster the database grows and the more useful it becomes for disabled drivers around the world.

If you write for a magazine – print or online – or if you write a travel blog – whether primarily aimed at disabled travelers or not – then YOU can really help us at the same time as informing your readers about a valuable and growing, free, online resource.

We’ve just published our ‘biography‘ – the history of BlueBadgeParking.com – which explains how and why the website was created. We’ve also added a media library of screenshots and photos that will allow you to illustrate any story you write.

There is also a pdf one-sheet which contains the same information formatted and ready for presenting to an editor if you want to give them a heads-up about what you are writing about.

BlueBadgeParking.com is an international database, so it doesn’t matter where in the world you are, you can help get the word out. And of course we’re more than happy to answer any other questions you might have that are not covered in the biography and that will set your article apart from the rest.

And we don’t care how small your readership is… you may have a small and dedicated following of just the kind of people who will benefit from knowing about BlueBadgeParking.com.

New features added 21st July 2015 – Smart phone & tablet SatNav integration

We’ve just rolled out a few improvements, new features and bug-fixes…

wpid-screenshot_2015-07-22-15-28-43_20150723095517835.jpgSatNav integration for smart-phones and tablets is the main new feature, but there have been other improvements as well – see below for details.

For all platforms:

  • Fixed a long standing bug where buttons disappeared from info bubbles after editing a location.
  • Changes to the wording on the navigation button in the info bubble (now reads ‘Show Route’ to show the route on the map, then ‘Directions’ to show the text directions.
  • Clicking the ‘share’ icon in an info bubble when in Street View now shares the Street View rather than the map view of that parking location.
  • When viewing a Street View, the browser location bar will display an address which will link directly to that Street View – so you can share the exact view you are looking at simply by copying the address bar contents.

For desktop PC / Mac:

  • wpid-screenshot_2015-07-22-11-09-05.jpgInfo bubbles now contain a QR code link that will display a QR code for that parking location. Scanning the code with a smart-phone or tablet will give you the option of opening your SatNav application pre-loaded with that parking location as the destination.

For smart-phone and tablet:

  • Info bubbles now contain a QR code link that will display a QR code for that parking location. Scanning the code with another smart-phone or tablet will give you the option of opening your SatNav application pre-loaded with that parking location as the destination. Alternatively, tapping the QR code will also attempt to open the SatNav in the same way.
  • A button has been added to the top of the route directions view that will attempt to open the SatNav app on your device with the parking location pre-loaded as the destination.

The Web-API has been updated to include the new Street View linking functionality as well – so if you run a review site or a business with disabled / handicap parking nearby, feel free to link to the BlueBadgeParking.com Street View of the location to give your visitors an alternative view of the parking available.

What we are working on right now…

Testing, tweaking and improving

Just a short note to let you know that we’re currently working on improvements and additions to the navigation functionality for smart phones and tablets. More options and better integration are on their way.

We’re getting close so watch this space in the next week or so for a launch announcement.

[Don’t forget, you can now ‘Like’ us on Facebook as well as following us on Twitter for the latest site news]

Putting down routes and directing traffic

wpid-img_20150707_100425.jpgWe were so excited about launching this feature that we almost let it escape the development farm a week early…

We held on for another week of testing, though, and yesterday route display and driving directions went live.

When you click on any Blue Badge Disabled / handicap parking location on BlueBadgeParking.com you’ll now see an extra button – “Drive here”.

Click the button and a (usually wiggly) blue line will appear on the map indicating the route from your current location to the selected parking location.

Once the route is displayed, the “Drive here” button will be replaced by a “Show route” button.

Clicking the Show route button, or clicking on the blue route line will allow you to view a set of text directions leading you directly to the posting location.

This is just the start, though. We’re far from finished with this functionality and you can expect further announcements in the future about enhancements to routing and directions. We thought it was such a useful feature that we just had to get it released as soon as a working version was ready.

We’ve just enhanced our StreetView…

screenShot_streetViewIWWe’ve just added a couple of enhancements to StreetView on BlueBadgeParking.com as follows:

  • StreetView is now available from both the right-click menu and a marker’s op-up Info Window.
  • When in StreetView you can now see (and interact with) a marker’s Info Window.

This applies to existing location markers and also when adding a new location – making it even easier and quicker to confirm the position of the new location when adding.

In Pictures: More details on our biggest feature update ever

We’ve just launched our biggest feature update since BlueBadgeParking.com launched back in 2006. As previously mentioned, we’ve spent a large part of 2015 so far working behind the scenes to build a framework for adding new features to the site to make it even easier to use and more useful. As part of this development we had to test if adding new features itself was any easier and quicker with the new framework… The short answer is ‘Yes!’, it turned out to be so quick and easy that we’ve brought forward the launch of a few features that were planned for a couple of months time.

So, what’s new? Continue reading

It’s Live! – Our biggest feature update ever…

We have just applied the biggest feature update to BlueBadgeParking.com since we launched…

The new features include:

  • Help videos – the first of our tutorial videos, with more to come in the future.
  • ‘Spread The Word’ page – links and other resources to enable you to help spread the word about BlueBadgeParking.com.
  • ‘Lightboxing’ – the above new features make use of a ‘lightbox’ overlay which improves the general site experience. We’ve also moved the old JavaScript alert windows into the lightbox to make navigating the site smoother.
  • Right-click menu – quicker and easier ways to navigate the map and add new parking locations when working on a PC. (With more options than we previewed a couple of weeks ago!)
  • Direct linking – this enables you to share links to a specific location on BlueBadgeParking.com either by location id, current map view or GPS coordinates. Just click the share options in the right-click menu or the location information windows (the little share icon in the bottom right) to open up the sharing page with around 300 different ways to share!
  • Active address bar – your browser’s address bar now tracks the map view, so if you copy the URL and share it by email etc the link will link to your current map view.
  • Web-API – tools for website owners, editors and developers. This is what makes direct linking possible, and the Web-API will be extended in the future to bring new tools for developers.

There have also been some general improvements to the consistency of the look and feel of the site – go take a look and let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter (@BlueBadgePark).

What we’re working on right now…

We’ve got a big ‘behind the scenes’ update almost ready for release and wanted to share with you a bit about what it will include.

We’ve re-worked a lot of how some of the internals work and added some new framework systems that will allow us to launch some brand new features, some enhancements to existing features and also some things we’ve had in the pipeline for a very long time.

Once the new new version goes live (watch this space and our Twitter feed for the announcement) the following will be available immediately:

  • Help videos – the first of our tutorial videos will go live, with more to come in the future.
  • ‘Spread The Word’ page – links and other resources to enable you to help spread the word about BlueBadgeParking.com.
  • ‘Lightboxing’ – the above new features make use of a ‘lightbox’ overlay which improves the general site experience. We’ve also moved most (all?) of the old JavaScript alert windows into the lightbox to make navigating the site smoother.
  • Right-click menu – this one has been on the cards for a long while… it gives you an even easier way to navigate the map and especially to add new parking locations!
  • Direct linking – again, this has been on the cards for a long while and forms the framework for some upcoming features. Direct linking enables you to share links to a specific location on BlueBadgeParking.com either by location id or GPS coordinates. There will be a detailed announcement about this feature after launch as it will be especially useful to businesses and venues.

We’re very excited about launching the above, but the work that has gone into making these small additions really does make it much easier for us to add a whole host of future enhancements that we have in mind.

A couple of the medium to long term plans we have are:

  • SatNav syncing rather than just downloads.
  • Mini-map linking for your website or blog.
  • Expanding the direct linking API.

Please bear in mind, though, that while some work has already started on these we have no idea of timescales for when they might be ready.

Feel free to let us know what you think we should be considering for the future…

-Dan