Need to know a bird’s four-letter code for your birding pursuits?
There’s an app for that.
Wondering if the bridge you cross each day to work is in sound shape?
There’s an app for that, too, and you have tech hobbyist James Stuckey Weber of Goshen to thank.
Stuckey’s day job has him handling social media duties for a non-profit agency. But the Goshen College graduate tinkers with apps in his off hours and has engineered six of them in all, available for use on iPhones.
“This is all just a hobby for me,” he said.
The six apps offer a range of functions:
Bridge Alert, linked to nationwide bridge information from a Federal Highway Administration database, allows users to get information on the crossings they use. The free app shows a map pinpointing certain area bridges based on your iPhone’s location with a link to FHA data on each. “Functionally obsolete” and “structurally deficient” bridges are shown. New crossings with no structural issues, like Elkhart’s Johnson Street Bridge and Six Span Bridge, don’t show up.
The data includes year built, estimated daily traffic count and the span’s condition.
Stuckey has designed two apps for birders. Bird Codes, which costs 99 cents, allows users to easily look up the codes for birds while in the field watching the feathery critters. Band Codes, also 99 cents, provides quick access to bird codes and other information on bird banding.
What to Brew offers suggestions on what sort of homemade beer to brew up while BIABCalc helps home brewers calculate how much water to put in a batch and how hot it should be. Both are free.
Shades, free, allows users to pinpoint the key shades of color in pictures and turn those colors into designs.
Stuckey Weber, 27, doesn’t have formal computer programming training, he just likes designing apps and picked up the skill on his own. His brother, a birder, pushed him into the activity, wanting an app to help him in his bird-watching pursuits.
He latched on to the idea of making Bridge Alert after President Obama discussed bridge shortcomings across the nation during his State of the Union address earlier this year. “You know what, I bet I can make an app,” he thought.
Stuckey Weber isn’t getting rich designing apps, but that doesn’t mean he’ll stop. “Part of it is, I enjoy doing it a lot,” he said.