Google has launched a new Android app that will help you find empty parking spots. Called Open Spot, the new Android app works by letting people who are leaving parking spots share their spots with people who are searching for a parking spot. So, this is all about helping each other by sharing your location. And the more open spots you mark, the more parking ‘karma points’ you’ll get.
Parking spots are displayed in a map with pins of different colors. A red pin means a freshly-marked spot, orange pins are spots marked over 5 minutes ago and yellow pins are those spots marked over 10 minutes ago. Spots are automatically removed from the map after 20 minutes. Open Spot can show you parking spots located within a ~1.5 kilometer ( ~.9 mile) radius of your location. When you move, Open Spot will automatically refresh to show you parking spots within a ~1.5 kilometer ( ~.9 mile) radius of where you currently are.
Open Spot stores parking data anonymously. So, your personal data is not associated with the locations of any parking spots and no one can identify you as the person who marked the given spot. What about fake pins? According Google, it has some kind of mechanism to make sure someone can’t leave a bunch of fake parking spots.
Open Spot app requires Android 2.0 or higher and is currently available only in the US, Canada, and the Netherlands. To download Open Spot, go to ‘Market’ on your Android device and search ‘Open Spot’. Once you’ve found Open Spot, touch to install and follow the onscreen installation directions.