Data Byte: Gearing Up for Bicycle Wisdom

Fun Biking

How do you travel around Sarasota? Do you often wish you were riding your bike: to work, to a friend’s house, with your kids, to the water, and more? Perhaps you just are not sure what the best way to bike around is? Or, you love biking in Sarasota County and you want to share your biking wisdom? As someone who loves biking in order to get around, I find

this bike wisdom map to be really awesome! What makes this map great is that it empowers bike riders to share their many riding woes and wows.

The New York Times has been “collecting rider’ shared wisdom about their biking in New York.” The biking wisdom map shares New Yorker’s experiences on different treks around their area. This map uses the same “crowdsourcing” technique as the Green map and Falling Fruit map. Crowdsourcing is “the practice of obtaining needed services, idea, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community.” Crowdsourcing technology takes the word of mouth communication within a community to a new level. Users of the bike wisdom map share their biking wisdom by sticking a “digital pin” on the map and attaching a note about the bike-ability of the location.

It would be super neat if Sarasota County residents pinned their favorite or least favorite biking spots to an online map, similar to the way New Yorkers are using the bike wisdom map. An interactive Sarasota County bike wisdom map would be a place for residents to share collective knowledge of the nice shady bike paths and avoid the bumpy pothole laden ones. I would share my neighborhood wisdom by pinning Bay Shore Road and stating “Delightful tree canopy bike ride with access to Sarasota Bay.” Would you be interested in such a resource? Which bike paths would you write about?

Data Byte: Fruit Found Around the Corner

Have you recently found yourself searching for fruit in all the wrong places? Or perhaps you have a fruit tree but you just cannot eat all of that tasty fruit! Sarasota County’s ecosystem is ideal for many fruit trees to flourish. Just in my own neighborhood, Indian Beach Sapphire Shores, I have seen many fruiting trees including starfruit, lime, grapefruit, orange, avocado, mango, and mulberry. Wouldn’tByting data fruit it be nice to fuel your body with some fresh, free, delicious fruit while walking through your neighborhood?

By mapping all the locations of fruit trees on public lands, communities all over the world have been preventing fruit from getting wasted and improving the diets of local residents. is a resource for discovering or mapping urban foods. FallingFruit boasts that they “…hope to facilitate intimate connections between people, food, and the natural organisms growing in our neighborhoods.” This resource links nicely to another local resource, the Open Green Map, which is a tool which “promotes inclusive participation in sustainable community development.” On the Open Green Map, users have the ability to map and find “Food Gathering Sites” and can also map various “Sustainable Living, Nature, and Culture and Society” resources. Residents are encouraged to add their own comments, green ratings, images and videos to the mapped locations. The Open Green Map has so many great features, you really just have to check it out for yourself!

How cool would it be to have your local fruit trees cataloged on one of these free mapping resources? Neighbors could connect over making mulberry jams or exchanging mojito recipes. Beyond the obvious tasty applications, younger residents will have an accessible resource to learn about how food grows and get kids excited about foraging for fruit! So, where do you forage for food? Please share in the comments or be the first to put Sarasota’s fruit trees on these maps.