I enjoy exploring new cities, but I dread hunting for an RV-sized parking space downtown. Our motorhome’s height is not accommodated by most parking garages, and its length is incompatible with maneuvering within most urban parking lots.
But occasionally I strike gold and want to preserve the location for a later visit – or for passing the information on to others. So I’ve set up a crowdsourced map called “RV Parking for City Tourists.” Clicking on any pin triggers a pop-up window with details and directions, and sometimes a photo. You can also select “Satellite” view on the map, allowing you to zoom in on any pin and see what the parking lot looks like from above.
You can add pins yourself or you can send the information to me (via this website or a Facebook message) and I will add it to the map. The only requirement is that you include a very specific location to make it easy for others to find your parking discovery.
Here are the instructions if you want to add your own pin:
- Navigate to https://www.zeemaps.com/map?group=1945617
- Click on the “Additions” tab
- From the drop-down menu, select “Add Marker - Simple”
- Fill in the “Location” field with the precise parking location. This can be a specific street address, or you can press “Map Select a location” to visually locate a spot on the magnified map.
- Fill in the "City" field (this will become your pin's label on the map)
- Fill in the “Description” field with additional information about this location (parking fee, nearby attractions, etc.)
- Upload a photo of the location (optional)
- Press “Submit,” and you’ll see your new pin on the map! (Contact me if any later editing is needed.)
Finally, here's a tip for smartphone users: If you use your phone to take a snapshot of the parking location, the photo will be geotagged with GPS coordinates that are perfect for step 5. The example below is an iPhone picture taken inside a Charleston parking garage. If you view that picture on a Mac with the Preview application, you can access the embedded geotag information by opening the Inspector window (⌘I) and pressing the GPS tab. You just need to copy and paste the GPS coordinates into the "Location" field (step 5 above), separating the latitude and longitude coordinates by a comma (e.g., 32° 47' 25.32" N, 79° 56' 14.4" W). And if you wish, you can upload that photo in step 7.
Update (April 24, 2018):
The free Zeemaps platform has been the basis for this map, which has grown to 81 sites in North America. Unfortunately, Zeemaps has recently decided to charge $200 annually to keep this map openly accessible. This is a common internet app strategy -- get people hooked on a free utility, then suddenly change the business model and charge for using the service!
Therefore, I have migrated the “RV Parking for City Tourists” map to the (free) Google My Maps platform at this link. You’ll find all the same information here, but it is not going to continue to expand via open crowdsourcing. Google My Maps does not give me a secure way to allow everyone editing rights, at least not without endangering the integrity of the previously added pins. Instead, if you have information for a new parking location, there are instructions on the map for sending that to me so that I can add a pin.