App Store Link
Just want the download link? Here ya go: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/smartwaytn/id1131107222
As a native Nashvillian, it’s been a wild ride watching the city change. Nashville’s population is growing by about 100 people a day!
With all these people has also come an increased load on the city’s transportation infrastructure. When I was commuting to work every day I found myself getting stuck in traffic multiple times a week due to wrecks, stalled vehicles, or events in town. Google does a pretty good job with the traffic overlay on their maps app, but I found sometimes the information wasn’t as up to date or as granular as I wanted. For a while now TDOT has provided cameras to view traffic, but until recently they were only stills that updated periodically (I think it was like once every 15 seconds or something).
With TDOT’s latest update the traffic cameras now support live streaming! I was so pumped the day I discovered they added that feature. The initial implementation of their desktop experience wasn’t bad, but for someone going to the site every day to check the same subset of cameras it lacked some necessary features. I filed feature requests, but after 6 months of not seeing any changes I decided to build a mobile client for my personal use since the mobile web experience had become mildly infuriating.
Like most software projects there were a few gotchas along the way (I’ll probably chronicle those at some point in the future), but for the most part development was straightforward. Some of the features I knew I wanted were:
- The app saving wherever you are looking on the map so the next time you open it you don’t have to find your location again.
- Quickly being able to go from cold launch of the app to viewing cameras.
- The app has a “favorites” feature to save cameras you’re most interested in. Great feature for daily commuters. They can be viewed in list format so you don’t have to click each camera individually like you do on the web.
I never planned on making the app public. I did the bare minimum (design and feature-wise) to satisfy my needs. After showing a few friends though I received a lot of postiive feedback and others asking me if it was on the store. I figured I may as well polish it up and put it out there for others to use.
So there you go! The SmartwayTN app is live and I’d love to get your feedback. Next up I’d love to get an Android version on the store using React Native, but we’ll have to wait until I have a bit more time for that.