Telephony on a Teeter Totter

Parking data a phone call away

On Tuesday of this week, the totter returned to action after a long period of inactivity. We reprised a theme with some previous history on the totter: real-time parking data. This time around, the live-data feed on parking space availability, which is streamed to the web by Ann Arbor’s Downtown Development Authority, has been piped into a telephone system.

The guy who did that: Fred Posner.

He doesn’t work for the city of Ann Arbor, the Downtown Development Authority, or Republic Parking. To get a little insight into what led him to undertake such a project, and if you want the number to call, you’re going to have to read Fred’s Talk. [Here's documentation on how he accomplished the data-to-telephone part.]

Apologies for the illegible titles in the video. The whole thing lasts less than a minute, and is, I think, worth suffering through the awful titles.

[Read the Talk]

[Editor's note: HD is "Homeless Dave, a.k.a. Dave Askins, editor of The Ann Arbor Chronicle.]


  1. January 16, 2009 at 1:55 am | permalink

    To really appreciate this talk, you have to know that Fred used to live in Florida.

  2. By margaret
    January 16, 2009 at 6:55 am | permalink

    I didn’t know the teeter totter was portable! Do you carry it around on your bicycle ready to do ambush interviews when you spot someone worthy?

  3. By Jennifer Santi Hall
    January 16, 2009 at 9:08 am | permalink

    This is great stuff. I think this will be incredibly useful information for all users of the parking system. I’ve been following all the discussion online and have talking with others at DDA about htis as well. We will be discussing it at our Operations Committee meeting on Wednesday, Jan 28th at 11am. Thanks!

  4. January 16, 2009 at 10:31 am | permalink

    Great stuff. Text messages would be a lot easier. I can get basketball scores and up to date flight information from “Forinfo” at 44636. Why not parking spaces.


  5. January 18, 2009 at 9:01 pm | permalink

    Text messages would be good too.

    Here’s a first cut of an iPhone app, via Tyler Erickson from the Michigan Tech Research Institute:

    note that it is NOT running on live data, because the site it’s running on was blocked by the DDA’s web server from grabbing the data.

  6. March 14, 2009 at 8:05 am | permalink

    The most recent Ann Arbor News story:


    It was filed at 7am today so I don’t know when it will hit print.