S'pore govt calls halt to iPhone app service

Singapore government body, Land Transport Authority, has told local app developer to remove feature which pulls data from an LTA Web site.
Written by Victoria Ho, Contributor

A popular Singapore iPhone app has hit a snag following instructions from government body, the Land Transport Authority (LTA), to stop pulling data from the latter's Web site.

The Park-a-Lot Lite app, developed by local developer NiiDees, has removed its live parking data feature which displayed which carparks had vacant lots, following a notice from the LTA.

The app was taking live parking data provided by the LTA on its One.Motoring Web site.

The NiiDees team told ZDNet Asia in an e-mail: "We were told that the live parking lot availability information is provided by other parties to LTA for display on their roads signs and on the One.Motoring site."

An LTA spokesperson, in an e-mailed reply to ZDNet Asia, said the live parking data was taken without the authority's approval.

The parking data is supplied to the LTA by companies managing the car parks, and is currently not shared with any third parties, said the LTA.

That said, the LTA is open to licensing the data out, the spokesperson added.

The free app was one of the top downloads on Apple's Singapore App Store, and NiiDees said Park-a-Lot Lite has been downloaded some 20,000 times since debuting mid last year.

Park-a-Lot Lite has also suffered more negative ratings from users after the live parking data feature was pulled, based on user comments on the App Store.

"We have received feedback from our users that the information is very useful, and regret that it is no longer available. A pity really," said the developer.

NiiDees plans to add other features to the app and possibly develop it for other mobile platforms, it said.

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