Since I got admitted at FEUP (Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto) one of the biggest inconveniences was to find a place to park the car. Depending at what time the classes started it could be easy or almost impossible to park anywhere near the campus.
The student parking lot can only hold about 370 cars and at the beginning of this semester there was a big change. The parking space around the campus is now paid so the students can only park either on the campus parking lot or leave their cars far away from campus to avoid having to pay.
One of the things that I start noticing on my first year was that there were some students that would stop in front of the gate of the campus parking lot and wait ( sometimes more than an hour ) for someone to leave so they could get in. This semester I saw that some students just give up on the idea of parking inside the campus because they never no if there are spots available and they will waste a trip and probably lose a parking spot just to check it out.
This is an inconvenience and leads to wasted space on the campus parking lot as the students give up on it which translates in a parking lot not fully occupied.
With this in mind I decided to find out if there was a way to check the availability on the campus parking lot it had to exist to serve as base for the system in place but the question was if it was available to the students. After a bit of research I found an API which would give that exact information and so I started to make plans for a WebApp and on the fifth of October (the national holiday for the implementation of the Portuguese Republic) I made the first version of FEUPParking.
The plan was to keep it simple. I needed to keep the information reserved to the FEUP population but a registration would be too much so I added the mechanisms needed to allow login with the credentials used to access UP systems. With that done I only added some features to make it more visually pleasant and for now that’s it but there are some nice features ahead that could help students and possibly teachers and staff a bit more so stay tuned.
Oh and by the way the WebApp is at feuppark.eu