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Indy Atlas

A webpage/application that will generate a single route using multiple modes of transportation according to the user’s riding preferences

Photo of Amber Janzen
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In recent years, the City has focused on improving alternative transportation infrastructures such as enhanced bus, bicycles, trails and sidewalk networks and facilities. Even as Indy’s alternative transportation infrastructure continues to grow, navigating the various modes of transportation can be cumbersome or confusing. Residents may also feel unsafe or inconvenienced to use Indy's transportation infrastructure due to past stigma. IndyAtlas seeks to alleviate these burdens by informing users of the safest, cheapest, fastest, or most accessible routes through an online mapping platform. Whatever the preference, users can integrate multiple methods of transportation within a single journey.

Combining user preferences with multiple alternative transportation types into a single, shareable route will be possible with Indy Atlas webpage and app. Creating and sharing journeys will generate more awareness of Indy's alternative transportation infrastructure and facilities such as IndyGo bus routes, IndyGo Bus Rapid Transit routes, bike lanes, and trails. Increased confidence and ease in travel is also possible with the inclusion of sidewalk and bike lane conditions, road network type, crash, and crime data (if available) into IndyAtlas’s platform. Another critical feature of IndyAtlas is the ability to share routes. Users will have the option to share their journeys with families and friends or other users. This sharing feature can put parents at ease, knowing that their (school age) children are arriving at their destination safely.  It can also raise awareness of fun and unique ways other users are getting around the City. 

IndyAtlas works by allowing users to generate a trip based upon a variety of preferences. Users will be prompted to identify whether they would prefer the safest route, the shortest route, the least expensive, or a combination of the above. Users will then indicate what modes of alternative transportation they are able or willing to utilize. Additional questions also include disabilities and trip type such as commuting to work, running errands and traveling to school), or general leisure. Users will then be asked of their transportation preferences such as cycling, taking the bus, walking, or a combination of these preferences. Confirmed preferences then inform the imbedded data to generate a route. Users will then have the option to share their trips with friends, family members, and other users. 

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

All users may use IndyAtlas. This app, however, will provide significant benefits to residents who are unfamiliar with or feel uneasy using Indy’s transportation networks and facilities. For example, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) is currently piloting a program that will allow students to ride IndyGo buses to school for free. This pilot program, as well as families, could benefit from IndyAtlas as children will regularly use IndyGo for school as well as to get to other areas of the city. IndyAtlas will give parents the resources they need to understand the safest areas in the City for their children to travel. Additionally, IndyAtlas can educate children and adults on the costs, most accessible routes, how to use the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, the rules for riding a bicycle in Indianapolis, and how to buy a ticket to ride the bus. As a bonus, It will help guide tourists and bring economic value to local businesses with increased pedestrian and cycle traffic.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)


Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

We are a team of Indianapolis residents who are advocates for travel without a personal vehicle. We are trained in urban planning, landscape architecture, and design. We intend to expand our team to include a software developer/UX designer and a lead organizer, experienced in non-profit management and/or alternative transportation planning, who will take over IndyAtlas once the piloted phase is complete.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $25,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

5,000-10,000- Developer Fee/Consultant 200- Software such as Adobe, ESRI 10,000- Overhead + stipend for lead organizer/designer

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

We would develop the IndyAtlas webpage first and use a study area of Indy’s downtown core to begin our pilot. We will collect data by utilizing public resources online and reach out to organizations and businesses to gather other necessary data. We intend to reach out to IndyGo, The Cultural Trail, BikeIndy, BlueIndy, PacersBike Share, Health By Design, and the Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development as our primary partners and resources. A contracted software developer will design the pilot version of the application. Incorporation of BlueIndy and Pacers bike share may be omitted from the pilot phase.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

IndyAtlas will measure the number of completed trips and app downloads. Quickly answered survey questions would be asked at the end of each trip. Ex: “Did your trip meet your expectations?” “Do you feel IndyAtlas served your needs for getting around the city?” etc. A large part of showing success in the pilot will be marketing the webpage and getting people excited about getting around Indianapolis without a personal vehicle. The data gathered from the app will also be used by the City of Indianapolis and other alternative transportation organizations or businesses to identify where common problems may be with their networks or facilities.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

The intention is for the added team members to carry the project forward and to develop IndyAtlas as a 501(c)(3) with support from the City of Indianapolis or be absorbed directly into an established organization. NO formal conversations with the City or other organizations regarding the potential partnership or support have taken place. These conversations will occur if this project is selected to move forward.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Jasmine Comer

Hi Amber Janzen , I'm Jasmine one of the online facilitators for the challenge this year. Thank you so much for submitting your proposal, it sounds like an amazing idea! How will this app differ from the information provided by apps such as google maps that give real time estimates for bus routes, lyft/uber drivers and even walking? And for future planning, maybe reaching out to Lime would be beneficial as well!

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