What is BikeMaps and how does it work?
BikeMaps.org is a crowd sourced incident reporting tool. You can log the location of a collision, near miss, hazard or theft on a BikeMaps webmap or through our mobile apps. Once the location is chosen, you will anonymously answer a series of questions about the incident and about you and your riding habits. This should only take a couple of minutes.
Where did the BikeMaps idea come from?
Dr. Trisalyn Nelson had the idea for BikeMaps.org after a near miss on her bike to work. Trisalyn, now at Arizona State University, specializes in spatial analysis, GIScience, and the emerging field of volunteered geographic information. She had the idea for a web-map to collect locations where people had a frustrating experience on their bike. Upon discussing her idea with public health researchers who study bike safety, she discovered that there was a great need for the data that BikeMaps.org could supply.
Why are you collecting this information?
It’s estimated that only 30% of all bike collisions are captured by official data – police reports or insurance claims. In addition, there was a need to collect data on falls as well as collisions not involving a motor vehicle. Near miss reports are also rarely collected, yet can serve as additional data points to proactively highlight problem locations. All of this data is valuable to a wide range of audiences from cities planning safer infrastructure to health researchers studying activity.
What will you do with the data?
The data collected in London will be shared with the Bespoke team. In other locations we have shared the data or analysis with municipalities to assist them with planning. We have graduate students who use the data for graduate research in the fields of Geography and Public Health.
How can the public monitor areas of interest to them?
You can outline a “riding area”, which is a geographic area of interest. First you will need to create an account. Once the account is made, a polygon shape will be visible, which you will use to create your area. You may create more than one area. Once you have an area defined, you will receive notifications whenever someone reports something within that area. Please note that you do not have to have an account to report an incident nor will having an account identify you if you report an incident. Notifications will appear under the bell on the website or as push notifications on the mobile apps.
What other research studies have you been involved in?
Prior to BikeMaps.org, Trisalyn and her research team at the University of Victoria were involved in a wide range of studies involving patterns of data over space and time. These included grizzly bear habitat in Alberta, crime, biodiversity, the mountain pine beetle epidemic in Canada’s boreal forest, and wildfire. Our team member, Dr. Meghan Winters is an assistant professor at Simon Fraser University (British Columbia) whose research has included public bike share, cycling safety, and how the built environment affects the health and mobility of older adults.