So whilst I was off my holidays the Open Harrogate App/website thingy came out. What of it?
There is a website with some info on it for residents and visitors which is nice to look at and easy to follow. It includes some good advice on why cycling walking and public transport are sensible decisions. There are some suggested routes as a walker and a bike rider which are good as far as they go. Along with the above there are some links to bike shops which once more is dandy. But nothing is terribly comprehensive and no links to clubs or Sports Development Harrogate for instance and it doesn't really integrate into Harrogate's online web presence.
The new cycling map is good but it's a pdf which I suppose is at least printable, but not very interactive so you have to use the mapping via the app. Again the app is fine, the interface works well, but when you ask it to route you on a journey, it sometimes takes you down the main arterial roads when there are traffic free or traffic calmed options nearby. It's a bit "dumb" it doesn't really have the "knowledge". The app will suggest places of interest and cycle routes nearby through the inspire me button, and that is good at least for visitors.
Thing is there seems to be no social media campaign or presence other than an instagram feed and there seems to have been no structured attempt to promote the app, other than an abortive thing on the Stray which was rather vague. I tried to attend but couldn't even work out what I was going to or when it started and I'm a full on nerd for this kind of thing. My worry is, if it is not evolving, or being pushed it seems destined to become an expensive white elephant. Which seems a pity as the slick and effective interface is currently let down by immature and incomplete content.
I'm afraid this feels like a little like a contractual obligation solution, rather than one designed and built with love and enthusiasm.