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Traffic app

Unread postby GM11 » Tue May 22, 2012 9:48 am

There is an app, specially for the traffic in Egypt.
Bey2ollak
Download the app from your app store for free. You can find traffic updates for a lot of roads.
How to comment? : You have to login and when you click on a specific road, you will see the choices of green (7alawa) to ? (so2al) and also khatar/7adsa/3otl. Under it is a box where you can leave your comment. Then you press the Zee3 button if you want to write it with your name or the other button which is anonymous. Under that you will see all the other comments from everyone else. Users post mostly in English or Arabic English, so if you understand some Arabic you can know what the meaning is.

When you use the app on your phone, you can exit the app by the settings button of your phone, it gives you the options of refresh, tell-a-friend, support and exit. This way you stay logged in.

You can also make roads your favourites, by clicking on the road you want and then press Taree2y. Next time you start the app it will start with your favourites. If you want to see all the roads again, you have to press Kol el Toro2.

A while ago when there was a shortage in fuel for private cars, they put topics for this too.

You can check it out on their website: http://bey2ollak.com/desktop.html
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Re: Traffic app

Unread postby GM11 » Tue May 22, 2012 9:49 am

Bey2ollak wins Google Ebda2 Competition in Egypt

After 8 months of struggle, business plans and mentorship, "Bey2ollak" went home with $200,000, and left 19 other startups to solely find their way.
"Bey2ollak", a community based traffic information service in form of an application, walked away with LE1.2 million as the winners of Google Ebda2 Competition for Egyptian entrepreneurs.

After a long day of presentations, where all 20 finalists explained their idea and business-plans for a last time to a panel of judges, the winner was announced at a gala-dinner at the Fairmont Nile Towers yesterday.

The winning team's project can be downloaded from any application-store and its success is based on the active cooperation of all its members in providing information regarding the traffic conditions they are facing. It already has the support of major organizations like Vodafone, Coca Cola and Shell.

Waleed Mustafa, Co-Founder of the winning project, excitedly announced: "We are thrilled that we won this competition. Thank you Ebda2 with Google for this amazing journey."

The finalist ceremony was attended by Dr. Essam Sharaf, former Egyptian Prime Minister and current Chairman of the Science Age Society, Mohammed Gawdat, Vice President of Google Southern and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Wael ElFakharany, North Africa Regional Google Manager.

In his speech, Sharaf explained: "I'm telling the winners that money alone will not help. Money needs to be accompanied by knowledge and both need to be protected by good ethics and behavior. Otherwise, money and knowledge will be meaningless and might be harmful to yourself and to society."

Gawdat emphasized to the attendees and participants that this competition is not about Google - it is about Egypt. He encouraged the other entrepreneurs that did not win, to continue and "start without Google" - a quote he took from a team that had been eliminated in the first rounds of the competition. "They have the right attitude," he added.

ElFakharany was very excited as he felt like he was "the father of the bride". "With this competition we want to change the default mindset of Egyptian families, where the youngsters are expected to go to college and graduate, just to get employed in some multinational company. No, we want the default mode to be that young people are brave enough to get out there and do their own thing," he stated.

The event was also attended by several investors and experts, of which some were judges. Khaled Ismail, a competition-judge and Managing Director of Intel Mobile Communications, elaborated on how all the projects today were winners and that he himself saw great potential in all of them, to an extent that he is ready to invest in 3 or 4 projects.

Google Ebda2 started in September 2011 as a competition organized by Google in cooperation with Innoventures and Science Age Society to identify, mentor and reward the best technology start-up in Egypt.

http://www.egypt-business.com/News/deta ... Egypt/5276
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Re: Traffic app

Unread postby Ferret » Wed May 30, 2012 8:54 am

http://www.good.is/post/after-assisting ... s-traffic/

I found this article on Linkedin for anyone interested in this app.

Egypt’s televised presidential debate earlier this month, widely lauded as an indicator of democracy’s triumph in the region, was delayed when one candidate was reportedly caught in traffic. On Twitter, CNN correspondent Ben Wedeman offered one of the night’s most winning observations: “No matter who is running [for president], #cairotraffic always wins.”

For those who haven’t been to Cairo, traffic may seem like a trifle. But in a sprawling megalopolis with a population approaching 20 million, residents schedule everything from workdays to weddings around traffic jams that stretch for miles and ensnare drivers for hours at a time.

That may explain why a Google-sponsored competition seeking Egypt's most promising startup business tapped an anti-traffic app over competitors like Recyclobekia, a company with plans to recycle e-waste like old cell phones; Wireless Stars, whose mobile app is modeled on FourSquare and has 150,000 users (and counting) from Ghana to Pakistan; and GroupStream, a storytelling platform inspired by Egypt’s revolution, whose CEO plans to open a San Francisco office in the coming months.

While those startups made it to the finale of the Ebda2 competition, the panel of judges from Egypt’s leading businesses and universities awarded the prize—plus $200,000 in seed money—to Bey2ollak, a company whose free crowdsourcing app allows Egyptians to report on and avoid traffic.

Bey2ollak allows drivers and passengers to use smartphones to report whether specific roads and bridges in Cairo and Alexandria are clear, clogged, or impassable. The company is also making a version for tablets and PCs.

“Bey2ollak is based on a very simple insight: that there is always someone on the street who knows how horrible [traffic] is or how well it is flowing,” says co-founder Gamal el din Sadek. “It’s always been one-to-one communication, but the information is relevant to everyone. We created a community that is one-to-many.”

Bey2ollak is an Arabic term for “it is being said.” El din says he and his co-founders chose the name in order to evoke the way in which frustrated drivers sometimes alert those around them to road conditions by rolling the window down and shouting.

The app uses casual, funny language that appeals to young users who choose from a list of options like “sweet,” to indicate traffic is light or “no hope,” which means stay off the roads at all costs. And Bey2ollak has found another niche in post-revolution Egypt, where protests and marches are frequent.: Users can alert travelers—and be alerted—to “khattar” or “danger” if protesters and security forces are clashing in the streets.

The technology is simple and adaptable, Sadek says. When fuel shortages in Egypt caused a panic late last year, it took Bey2ollak programmers just a few hours to create a feature that displays the locations of gas stations. The move earned the company positive writeups in the Egyptian press, a coup for a company that has, until now, relied primarily on word-of-mouth marketing.

Named for the Arabic word meaning ‘start,’ the Ebda2 competition began in September 2011 with 4,000 entrants. Over the course of nine months, entrepreneurs were put through a punishing schedule of refining and defending their business plans, appealing to investors, and calculating operating budgets down to a fraction of a cent. Along the way, they were mentored by experts in finance, private equity, and marketing.

“The problem [in Egypt] has always been that the brains and the ideas are there,” says Fady Ramzy, country manager of Interact Egypt, who served as a mentor, “but the young business owners didn’t know how to monetize them.”

Ramzy says it wasn’t just innovative use of technology and positive social impact that gave Bey2ollak a leg up in the competition, but the fact that the company recently attracted advertising dollars from Coca-Cola, which judges viewed as concrete evidence the startup can make money.

Starting a new business is particularly difficult in Egypt, where the official unemployment rate hovers around 12 percent, and the actual number is widely believed to be much higher. Around 85 percent of the unemployed are under the age of 30. In the past, business owners with ties to the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak had advantages that ordinary Egyptians did not. That has changed.

“Entrepreneurship is the solution,” says Gamal el din Sadek, smiling to acknowledge his cheeky play on “Islam is the solution,” the well-known slogan of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group of Egyptian origin that now commands nearly half of the seats in the country’s democratically elected parliament.

The timing of the Ebda2 competition suggests that Google appreciates Sadek’s point of view. Google didn’t choose the winner, but executives say their interest in Egypt and the region has intensified since protests swept the Arab world in 2011, toppling strongmen like Mubarak, Tunisia’s Zine el Abedine Ben Ali and Libya's Muammar Gaddafi. The competition wouldn’t have taken place if not for the Egyptian revolution, company officials say.

“Egypt is a sweetheart of Google,” says Mohammad Gawdat, vice president of emerging markets for Google in South and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. “We’re fascinated by it. We’re not interested in starting revolutions. We have no position. But we know that if you empower people with enough information and knowledge, they will make the right choice.”

The contest winners were announced in a ceremony on the roof of Cairo’s lavish Fairmont hotel, which boasts stunning views of the Nile River and overlooks some of the city’s busiest roads and bridges. As the evening drew to a close, several hundred people milled around, high above the city. A few used the vantage point to look out over Cairo, trying to get an idea of how bad traffic might be. Not everyone bothered with the view. The information they needed was already there, on their phones.
Abso-bloody-exactly
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Re: Traffic app

Unread postby GM11 » Wed May 30, 2012 2:21 pm

Nice article!
@Ferret: Do you manage the app already?
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Re: Traffic app

Unread postby Ferret » Wed May 30, 2012 9:25 pm

Not yet, I will though for sure. It sure looks like it will be popular :)

Could have done with it today, what with the gasoline queues and the big hole that appeared in the Suez Road causing traffic backlog all the way to Heliopolis!!!

Have you used it?
Abso-bloody-exactly
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Re: Traffic app

Unread postby Ferret » Thu May 31, 2012 1:51 pm

I have downloaded the app... cannot figure out how to upload yet.
Abso-bloody-exactly
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Re: Traffic app

Unread postby GM11 » Thu May 31, 2012 7:12 pm

How to comment? : You have to login and when you click on a specific road, you will see the choices of green (7alawa) to ? (so2al) and also khatar/7adsa/3otl. Under it is a box where you can leave your comment. Then you press the Zee3 button if you want to write it with your name or the other button which is anonymous. Under that you will see all the other comments from everyone else. Users post mostly in English or Arabic English, so if you understand some Arabic you can know what the meaning is.

When you use the app on your phone, you can exit the app by the settings button of your phone, it gives you the options of refresh, tell-a-friend, support and exit. This way you stay logged in.

You can also make roads your favourites, by clicking on the road you want and then press Taree2y. Next time you start the app it will start with your favourites. If you want to see all the roads again, you have to press Kol el Toro2.

Yes, we use it almost everyday.
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Re: Traffic app

Unread postby Ferret » Thu May 31, 2012 7:46 pm

Do you mean on the pre-set roads? I am logged in but I don't see a map or anything.

The Arabic they use is pretty basic and easy to understand, but I have no idea where to say where I have travelled from and to and how long it took me.
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Re: Traffic app

Unread postby GM11 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:51 am

unfortunately they have no map, and there are only pre-set roads, so you can comment on there.
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Re: Traffic app

Unread postby Ferret » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:19 pm

Ok, it is still new in the making so I will wait a while until it develops as I don't travel on the pre-set roads. It is still good to view to get an overview of the general traffic in Cairo though and to gauge my journey a lilttle better.

Today for example I wanted to report that in Medinat Nasr the stations that still had benzine had really long queues. I wanted to report on the ones I had seen sealed off. And yesterday I wanted to report the minibus that had broken down on a u-turn stopping the roads and the trams causing havoc.

Still, a great idea but it needs to grow and expand, and looking at the interest it has I am certain this will be a huge success.
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