Taipei, May 20 (CNA) A geographic information system (GIS)designed exclusively for bicycle riders in the greater Taipei areawas launched Friday as part of the government's efforts to makeTaiwan a "cycling island."
Responding to the cycling fad of recent years, the Constructionand Planning Agency announced the initial results of a project inwhich it integrated nationwide biking information to a web- andsmartphone-supported platform.
In the current stage, the system, called simply "Biking, "provides riders in Taipei City and New Taipei City with a variety ofriding information such as directions to bike routes, publictransport access points and the nearest bike repair locations.
In addition to getting a better sense of where they are, riderscan take advantage of "Biking's" social network function by uploadingtheir journeys and photos to the Internet.
For those who ride for exercise, the software offers personalizedservices that calculate calorie consumption based on the rider'sphysical condition.
When the project is fully rolled out in 2012, the agency said,riders everywhere in Taiwan will be able to enjoy the service.
"We hope the world will see Taiwan as not only a massive bikemanufacturer but also as an island that provides an alternativebiking lifestyle, " said Wu Yuh-jen, deputy director-general of theInstitute of Transportation, which supports the biking informationnetwork.
Taiwan, which exported 5 million bikes worth US$1.45 billion lastyear, has already built 1,323 km of bike paths and will increase thatto 3,823 km by the end of next year, according to the Council forEconomic Planning and Development.
More information on the system, as well as downloads, areavailable at http://biking.cpami.gov.tw
(By Lee Hsin-Yin)