Thanos Snaps and all is cut in half.
I want to thank everyone involved with Wikispeedia. We are in the seven stages of loss. Here is my confession.
We moved off Amazon to save money. [stage 1]
I often say that I spent my sons childhood on Wikispeedia. I hope Carter doesn’t think me delinquent.. So many sub projects. Dashboard speed display before gps cellphones. Thanks Matt Despain for believing in that. Or perhaps cursing me for 13 years… Then me sitting in the library, using the free AllData car schematics to get resistor values for cruises.
I spent years perfecting a speed limit display using a PIC16F877a. On an SD card and GPS module, I created a multi linked-list between points, link-N, link-S, link-E,link-W. It would toggle from Memphis to Iowa in 15 minutes. I wish I had a picture of it. Cheap enough to put in any car. Then came cellphones…
In the beginning people thought we would get-rich. Pre Google.
Then came the guy from Mattel who secretly interviewed Tommy at DisplayTracks and EBo and others, to figure out the structure and profit from/with us. You see this was the era of crowdsource – innocence. When everyone wanted you involved. Then when they had critical mass, they dumped the chaff. The 90’s were that era. Remember all the sites (like us) on Wikipedia? Then one day they “snapped” their wiki finger and we went in the trash. I never forgave wikipedia for that.
Once we did sell the database to a telematics company for $600. I was in heaven. But the rub is, once its gone its gone…
I had tons of help creating shellscripts to get tiger data into wikispeedia as fake-starter-estimates. It wasn’t my idea it was Ben de Waal who suggested it. Ever since then all efforts are to remove this estimate data. Not the worst idea and it was all tagged as Ben…
Everyone liked the concept of Wikispeedia, reducing tickets, so with just a mention, strangers helped. more
I built two tools that I never open sourced. One was a spinoff of “Greatmaps”. If you have ever seen Greatmaps, you would be blown away. And of course, here is the author of Greatmaps, radioman.
The other tool I built was an auditor. I considered it our value-add, one thing we alone possess which gives us an edge. Here it is, shown not populated… Even now, I want to hide its glory!
Along that time, I also used Machine learning Weka. After getting tons of data and trying to understand what I as an auditor considered not-junk, I put it all in Weka and guess what I learned about myself? Ready for it?
You see, I wanted to automate the audit, and have it improve as people stuffed junk data into wikispeedia. Mostly because we throttled data-pulls, so you had to Give before you Get and people started gaming us… Alas I tossed Weka, but it worked!
And before all this, I wrote and sold apps, all the money reinvested. At its hayday we made $30/month. Fun times, like when I threatened Amazon App store that there system was so complicated that I would just stay on Google. (Their lawyer called me!) All the apps I wrote suffer from something I have always suffered with, single-mindedness. You see, people want iPhones, not GPS-Navigators which are single purposed. BTW, My favorite app is “Granny Yelling at you if you speed”.
I wrote so many apps that I considered changing professions. But Android apps are unf**king believably hard to perfect. New crazy concepts you have to master (which I didn’t) like INTENTS.
I tried any title that I thought would shock, like
Back Seat Driver
Make money with Speed Limits
Manbir’s crash. (Indian guy I work with)
The only one I maintain and have the source code for is “Wikispeedia Workbench“. I may show a video below of it. I am proud of its components. Huge DB, sync of local sqlite3 and Amazon DB. Very elaborate. It calculates distance from path, it beeps and has menus, allows opencv testing, and lets you add signs while you drive. I have wasted 10 years trying to get sync perfected. It only works in emulator mode it seems. I f**cking hate syncing mobile data.
Here from the wayback machine is our first website. 20,000 signs.
Then I felt the need to move to WordPress. I started going to WordPress meetings in Memphis and met some great people. I also met George Spake, and also how much I learned to detest the jabber on Slack. Anarchy at its best. All the loudest most useless people talking incessently. Then on to Discord, Laravel, bootstrap and oh my god it never ends… You quickly find yourself wasting your life in technology, but thats what dudes do… My wife f**king hates speed limits… I am not allowed to speak of them at home…
I am looking at our membership on googlegroups and will comment on ones I know…
Calvin Echols. I think he is the cat who said “some for you , some for others” meaning I put some in OSM, grabbed from Wikispeedia. Not sure if I have the correct guy… He is the only person I ever banned from discussion…
Ragaar. He was the EBo of the 2000’s. Very smart and full of ideas. Worked for Catepillar in mid west.
Linus Adler. He has been putting in The Netherlands speed limits for years. Linus? Whats up with that? Linus is my favorite participant. He just logs. He had no business motive. He just logged where he was from. He didn’t say tiresome things like, “Hey Jim, go get a grant like that’s trivially easy”. We tip Linus when we can. He once offered to give it back during our hard times…
Alirio Arevalo. He was born in Venezuela. Born in the wrong country… He would be a millionaire if in US. Works the speed limit racket. He perfected our chrome extension… 😉
Competitors like trackit, etc. Fun to have competitors listening in.
Jason Procknow. Haven’t heard from him in years. I think he made the first speed limit app on blackberry.. We talked sometimes. I think he is full time apps now.
DJ Necrogami. This cat (I may be wrong) had hacked a Garmin and eluded to having speed limit data hacked from it… glad I never took him up on it. I apologize if I am wrong…
EBo. Longest supportive guy on this list. (says 2011). I hope we remain friends. I tried to get him a free-tractor…. He has a charity food thing in Virginia. He hooked me up with a Lyft driver to log speed limits.
Cheryl. Lyft driver. Logged for us. Sync didn’t work, so we shipped phones back and forth. It was a mistake….
Andy Cranford. Truck driver at my church who logged for us. He was a good sport about it. Divorced now, probably due to me…
Tommy Williams. Owner DisplayTracks. His son has software that says “brewing up the secret sauce”. I want to live where he lives in a condo in the Fl panhandle! He was very supportive and one day, lights out, I never heard from him again. All business…. I understand Tommy…
I see we have 83 members (max was 600). Still not too shabby.
So in 20xx, Google announced they were adding speed limits to google maps. That was lights out for us. Then they added the Waze. That was lights out for us. But then autonomous cars came out and I still held a candle for the utility of a free-smart-cruise-control. Nope.
So list Wikispeedia among the Google-killed.
BTW, Its road safety Week. link