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East Tennessee State App Helps Students Hunt Down Parking Spots

Tennessee State University recently added a new function in its mobile app that points students to available parking places among 2,750 spaces on campus.
Tennessee State University recently added a new function in its mobile app that points students to available parking places among 2,750 spaces on campus.

Forget about wandering aimlessly through parking lots on campus wasting gas and time while looking for an open spot. There's an app for that — at least at East Tennessee State University, a school that takes its parking very seriously. (Check out "Spaces," the YouTube comedy series starring students and produced by the online campus and the parking division.) The 15,000-student school recently added a new function in its mobile app that points students to available parking places among 2,750 spaces on campus.

The work involved integrating software from three companies, CASE Parking, Streetline and Blackboard.

CASE has a parking system that counts cars as they enter and leave parking lots and garages and then feeds that data to a "field hardware device" that uploads it to cloud storage. CASE customers can pull up an online dashboard to monitor the parking situation in real time or over a set period for trend analysis.

Streetline has programs, including apps for smartphones, that communicate real-time parking availability to users based on their location.

Eastern Tennessee's campus mobile app is built on Blackboard Mosaic, the company's mobile platform for helping schools deliver functionality to users through smartphone apps.

For this project, Streetline developed the icon that sits in the university's mobile app, which runs on Mosaic. On the backend, Streetline's data management tool, ParkEdge, provides a way for the parking space data pulled from CASE's parking count program to be displayed to users.

"By providing real-time access to parking data, we hope to do our part in reducing vehicle emissions and increasing our students' quality of life," said Vice Provost Karen King. "We couldn't be more pleased with the collaboration and the superior results we've seen so far."

The university's mobile app, ETSU, which includes the parking function, is available for Android and iOS users.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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