New features and updates for October

We’ve been busy tweaking and working on new features for you again. Here are the details of what’s new as of today.

Closest 5

Closest FiveThis new functionality adds two new features to the map to help you find and navigate to the nearest disabled / handicap parking spaces to your current location.

The first thing to notice is that the markers identifying the five closest locations to you appear slightly different to all of the other location markers on the map. The closest five location markers have a green wheelchair logo (as opposed to white) and are slightly darker in colour.

The second thing to notice is that when you click on the ‘You are here’ marker you now have the option to show the five closest locations. Clicking this button will pop up a list of the nearest locations with buttons to quickly show the route and driving directions to these locations. If you’re on a smart phone or tablet you’re given the option to open your SatNav app to navigate there as well.

What’s more, if you are using the improved ‘Follow Me’ function, detailed below, your nearest five locations will update on the map automatically as you go so you can always see at a glance which are the five closest!

These options are obviously only available if BlueBadgeParking.com knows what your current location is (i.e. when you allow the website to use your current location) and the closest locations are calculated in a straight line rather than by driving distance. (When you view a route or directions the actual driving distance and estimated time is calculated.)

Closest Five functionality was added as a result of user feedback… Let us know what else you think would improve BlueBadgeParking.com for you.

Traffic

Traffic ButtonYou can now display the latest available traffic information directly on the map just by clicking a button!

Under the map type selection buttons (at the top of the left side sliding menu) you now have a new button which will overlay colour coded traffic information directly on the map.

If it’s green, the road is clear. If it’s red, there is heavy traffic (see screenshot below).

Follow Me ButonMassively improved ‘Follow Me’ function

Follow Me and TrafficWhile BlueBadgeParking.com is not intended to be a replacement for a true SatNav device (this is why we allow you to download our database into your real SatNav!), we do recognise that some SatNav-like functions are useful.

For this reason we have made some big changes to the way the ‘Follow Me’ function works.

Follow Me is activated by clicking the ‘two footprints’ button on the right of the map.

When activated, the map will follow you – hence the name – and shows your location in the center of the map.

Previously your location would update every five seconds and BlueBadgeParking.com would make do with whatever location accuracy your device chose to give… not any more.

With this latest release the site specifically asks your device to provide a high accuracy location (if available) and updates your location on the map whenever you move.

This means that the Follow Me function is now far more accurate, much more responsive and far smoother.

But that’s not all – The marker that indicates your position now also shows your heading, so you can see at a glance what direction you are heading in on the map, helping enormously with orientation!

All in all, this brings some essential SatNav-like functions to BlueBadgeParking.com that are especially useful when following a displayed route to a disabled parking location (if the blue arrow is following the blue line, you’re heading in the right direction).

New Google widget set

Google has updated the controls for map applications and we have adopted these new controls as of this update.

The new controls free up even more of the map for viewing, but they do remove the pan control meaning you will need to use cursor keys or drag the map to move around.

Street View Enhancements – including Full Screen

The updated map controls also extend to Street View where not only has the colour of the controls changed, but you now get the option of a full screen view – the button is in the top right, next to the Exit Street View button.

Full screen StreetView works particularly well on large screen devices, such as laptops, and gives you a great over-view of the area in which a parking space is located allowing you to assess whether or not there might be other obstacles you need to consider before heading off to park there.

Some of the other info is now displayed slightly differently in Street View as well making for a cleaner overall look.


As well as the above we’ve also crushed a couple of bugs and made some progress towards our next feature additions by adding some of the background stuff. Watch this space for more news about upcoming features…

And if you have any ideas about what else we could add that would be useful, let us know below or via social media.

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Tweaking and testing new features and enhancements

We are currently in the final testing and tweaking phase for the following new features and enhancements:

  • Closest Five
  • Massive improvements to Follow Me
  • Full screen StreetView
  • New Google Maps widget set

Watch this space for a launch announcement and more details about what these new features mean…

5 Myths about disabled / handicap parking

  1. BlueBadgeScotland.org PosterYou don’t need a badge / permit if you’re only going to be a couple of minutes.
  2. Putting on your hazard flashers is the equivalent of having a badge / permit.
  3. Your dead Gran’s badge / permit becomes yours to use as you like after you bury her.
  4. If there are no regular spaces, you can just use a disabled / handicap space without a badge / permit – no one will mind.
  5. If you have a big or precious car you can use a nice and wide disabled / handicap space to protect it from scratches.

(Image from BlueBadgeScotland.org)

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]