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EV Charger Maps

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by Kevin Sharpe, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    We're a UK charity and about to install a large number of charge points throughout the UK. We will add our location and charge point data to several of the existing charger maps. Unfortunately, each of theses map databases are proprietary and it will take considerable effort to maintain the data as the number of sites grows.

    Is anyone aware of an open source charge map application that we could throw our weight behind? If not, would anyone like to join us in developing an open source solution for the EV community?

    Feel free to PM me if you'd rather not discuss this in public.
     
  2. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    #2 vfx, Sep 27, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
    Please keep this public. EVCharger maps has been a great resource but he will soon be overwhelmed. As it is the Tesla chargers are not up to date and I'm always finding outdated info in regards to chargers. +One place might have had the listed chargers gone for years and another have twice the chargers listed. An open source with pictures and descriptions of locations would be great (brilliant) Google maps has a picture function and they are EV proponents, why not work with them?

    Also it would be good to plaster all chargers with a sticker that tells where to give the info to.

    The oddest thing is to find out a private citizen has put in a public charger and no one (in the EV community) knows about it!! Even municipalities do it.
     
  3. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    We really want to promote a public and open solution. We've contacted 20+ charger maps in all corners of the world. The burden of submitting hundreds or thousands of charge points to them all is enormous.... every single one has it's own database and definition of socket types. We really hope to find someone who's willing to open their solution for community participation.
     
  4. kgb

    kgb Member

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    Try WikiEVChargerMap.com

    If that doesn't exist, then make one.
     
  5. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    Yes I did thanks... I've reached out to most of these sites but don't think they are really opensource. Here as an example is what Recargo have to say;

    "Does Recargo have an API or an XML feed? Can I use your data on my website or App?

    Well … probably yes, it depends on the project. If you have an interest in building an interface to Recargo, or using our data in some way, we would love to hear about it. We are always looking to spread the EV gospel. Please contact us and we will work something out."

    What I'd like to see is an opensource database that all of the apps could use... we'd then have a consistent standard and the data would only need to be entered once.
     
  6. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Someone should fund this effort!
     
  7. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    I've run a couple open-source projects before (and wrote the code). I could be convinced to do it again, but would need a lot of help from the community regarding standards, interfaces, design, etc. I'm also HORRIBLE with UI's, so any help there would be helpful. What are some of the thoughts here around "open source" and what that means? e.g. the source code should be open and people could contribute? How woudl the database be populated and maintained? Where would the site live? What services would I interface with to make things easier (e.g. Google Maps and things of that nature)?
     
  8. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    I would suggest that we start with an open source database and encourage the developers of the existing apps and websites to use it. I'm making good progress with this approach and a number of developers have indicated that they will use the database when it exists.

    I would suggest we use Sourceforge and a GPL license.... works well for lots of the software projects that we contribute to...
     
  9. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    Once we have the database we could then develop apps and websites that use that data if we wished... or we could just leave it to the third party developers.
     
  10. eledille

    eledille TMS 85 owner :)

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    The main thing is that the code is open source, then anyone can modify it to fill their needs and submit feature requests, patches and bugfixes. Two or more EV organizations might also join forces and hire someone to implement a needed feature and all will benefit from it.

    Please choose Git for version control and PostgreSQL for the DB :)
     
  11. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    We now have enough feedback to warrant the development of the open charge map database. We have created a project on sourceforge;

    http://openchargemap.sourceforge.net

    The first task is to agree a common set of records which will allow the existing applications and websites to use the database. Feel free to get involved in the project if this interests you...
     
  12. mt2

    mt2 Member

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    Make it MySQL and PHP and I'm in!
     
  13. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    +1 on git.

    As for open source, there's open source, and there's open source.

    My recommendations, for both code and charger point entry: Start with a small number of committers (code and spot additions as separate lists, people can get onto both). Anybody can propose a patch / add a spot, but it takes a committer to actually apply it. Committers can nominate someone who has submitted a patch for nominal commit status (at which point they can commit, but any messes they make are the responsibility of the person who nominated them). After a few successful, positive patches or spot additions, they can then be nominated for permanent commit status, which needs to be seconded by at least two other full time committers.

    This really helps keep the quality of changes high, but also still scales as the project grows.

    (I work on a couple of little open source projects that work this way - Chromium and Chromium OS, and have contributed to other open source projects with similar but different gating mechanisms - that don't quite work as well in one way or other).

    Heck, I'd try and do this in my 20% time, but I'm not familiar enough with the server side of things and my team is trying to ship something soon, so I don't think I'd get anywhere in the time scale I think you guys are thinking about.
     
  14. eledille

    eledille TMS 85 owner :)

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    SByer: I wasn't recommending to grant write access to the repo to the world :)

    PostgreSQL has good support for spatial data, check out PostGIS. Demo here.
     
  15. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    I still say, Go to Google!
     
  16. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    Can you elaborate? I'm not sure what you're referring to here ...
     
  17. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    He did! :wink:
     
  18. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    I agree, though. If Google Maps can handle bike routes and public transportation in major cities (the later of which I find REALLY helpful with GPS on my phone when traveling). They should also add EV charging locations. Would be good PR and the simplest thing for most users. Would also be nice to still have the database publically available, so people could use their own program as well.
     
  19. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    I think the foundation to all of this is an open database of charge sites and capabilities. Once that's available then companies like Google can see the addition of EV charging locations as a public service. I think this database should offer worldwide coverage and support Multilanguage capabilities... beyond that it's just a list of locations and facilities that people can use to build great apps and websites.

    I've approached the majority of the existing websites and so far nobody is prepared to open up their database. I find this intriguing given that the data is often supplied and maintained by the EV Community.

    The reality is that the current websites are already struggling to remain up-to-date and this can only get more demanding as the sheer number of sites grows. I believe that only a serious community effort or commercial company will succeed going forward.
     

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