Saratoga Parking Assistant

App Summary

The Saratoga Parking Assistant is a web application created to help alleviate some of the parking issues in Saratoga. As a newly driving member of society, I quickly noticed the agitation that arose for driving up and down a parking garage just to find out the garage accross the street was open. I created this app with the intention making the parking spaces available easier to determine, without having to drive in circles, by providing a web based interface for users to find parking.

The app provides the immediate benifit of providing parking assistance to those in need of a spot. Additionally, the app provides the more long term benifit of providied parking data that can be stored and used to further analyse the parking issue in Saratoga Springs. 

Live Demo

How it Works

1. Raspberry Pi

First a Raspberry Pi begins a python script which countinously checks input sensors updating the number of available parking spots along the way.

Then the Raspberry Pi makes post requests to the web app every 30 seconds with the updated available spaces

2. Updating Database

Once the Raspberry Pi makes its post request, the web app checks to see if a request with the same name has been made before. If there has been, the database information on the lot is updated. Otherwise, a new lot is added to the parking app.

3. Creating View

Using the information found in the database, a html page is generated from a template. Included in the template is a table containing all details for each parking lot.

4. Creating Map

With the table embedded in the html, the javascript generates a google map with markers colored to represent the average amount the parking lot is filled. Green for less then 50% filled, Orange for more than 50% and Red for more than 75% filled.

Key Features

Adaptable

The web app was developed with the ability for more features to easily be added on. The web app has great potential for expansion as well as for adoption into an exisiting site. 

Scalable

The web app was designed with scalability in mind. The app allows for the addition of new parking lots to the app with minimal effort.

When the Raspberry Pi makes a call to the web app for the first time. The  web app immedietly updates the database with the new parking lot. No additional modification of the web app is required!

Ease of Access

The web app has a quick and easy interface allowing users to quickly find the best parking lot without additonal hassel. 

Plans for the Future

Administrative View

One plan for the future is the inclusion of an adminstrative view. This would allow parking enforcers to mnaually tweak parking data, keep track of parking issues, and more easily complete their job.

Active Parking Suggestion

Another plan would to be to include an algorithm that would make suggestions to the user on which parking lot would best suit their needs.

The algorithm would use google map's ability to get the distance between the parking lot and the users destination as well as using parking availability to select the best parking lot for the user.

Expand Raspberry Pi Sensing ability

In a move to expand the abilities of the web app, one of the plans for the future would be to expand the sensing capabilities of the Raspberry Pi, this would entail incorporating a wider variety of sensors and working closely with the city of Saratoga Springs to make monitoring parking lots easier.

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