A geographic information system (GIS) designed exclusively for bicycle riders in the greater Taipei area was launched Friday as part of the government's efforts to make Taiwan a "cycling island."
Responding to the cycling fad of recent years, the Construction and Planning Agency announced the initial results of a project in which it integrated nationwide biking information to a web- and smartphone-supported platform.
In the current stage, the system, called simply "Biking, " provides riders in Taipei City and New Taipei City with a variety of riding information such as directions to bike routes, public transport access points and the nearest bike repair locations.
In addition to getting a better sense of where they are, riders can take advantage of "Biking's" social network function by uploading their journeys and photos to the Internet.
For those who ride for exercise, the software offers personalized services that calculate calorie consumption based on the rider's physical condition.
When the project is fully rolled out in 2012, the agency said, riders everywhere in Taiwan will be able to enjoy the service.
"We hope the world will see Taiwan as not only a massive bike manufacturer but also as an island that provides an alternative biking lifestyle, " said Wu Yuh-jen, deputy director-general of the Institute of Transportation, which supports the biking information network.
Taiwan, which exported 5 million bikes worth US$1.45 billion last year, has already built 1,323 km of bike paths and will increase that to 3,823 km by the end of next year, according to the Council for Economic Planning and Development.
More information on the system, as well as downloads, are available at http://biking.cpami.gov.tw
Source from CNA