Smartphone apps can help users with a wide variety of things, and now one can help North Hills shoppers find the best parking space, remember where they parked and provide walking directions around the shopping area.

“We want to make sure people understand that when they park their car, they can park for the day and get up and walk around,” said Bonner Gaylord, North Hills general manager and Raleigh city councilman.

The idea behind the app started last year at NC DataPalooza, an event where people like software developer Eric Majewicz create ways to make freely-available data accessible to the public.

“Our initial idea was to come up with an app that helped people find parking in downtown Raleigh,” he said.

North Hills approached Majewicz about developing a smaller-scale version for the area.

Majewicz said he still plans to create a larger version for downtown Raleigh, which Gaylord said could connect people more closely with the downtown community.

“I’d love to see this deployed throughout downtown to help people find where they’re wanting to go, find events that are going on, find what’s going on in their community,” he said.

The app is free and available for Apple and Android devices. Just search ‘North Hills’ in the app store.