As part of Bristol County Council and the Pervasive Media Studio’s B-Open initiative, developers and creatives were invited to make use of the open dataset released as part of the UK government’s Open Data plan.
Overlay Media produced the Hills Are Evil smartphone application. This app used the open data provided by the council to visualise the topography of hilly Bristol City. This data was mashed up with Google maps to provide an alternative means of planning a google map journey, one that would provide information about the ascent and descent involved in the trip.
The app was principally designed with wheelchair users in mind; to this end, the developers also incorporated an element where app users could contribute data back into the open data set: it was possible to use the iPhone’s accelerometer to provide data insight into which streets in Bristol were cobblestoned. However the app has other uses, especially in light of Bristol being the UK’s first cycling city.