Labor Day, it was here and now it’s gone. The sunlight is less intense, the days are getting shorter. OpenPlansers’ vacation plans had become reality and now reside as memories. The air conditioners get pulled from the windows; summer planterbox gardens have been harvested. Bikers rejoice at getting to work covered in glow, but not a full sweat. The temperature is dropping — but fresh stories from the world of open software, urban planning, and transportation are picking back up. As always, we’re chatting about it.
Here’s a quick rundown of the hot topics here at OpenPlans over the last few weeks…
+ The City of New York has plowed money into the Domain Awareness System (newspeak for “government surveillance”) to collect CCTV feeds from both private and public security cameras. This article notes how these camera are watching places that may be non-surveillance-worthy. This article goes a little off track about how the city spends its money; but the idea is that New York City Housing Authority residents have been requesting camera surveillance but money is never allocated or when it is doesn’t get spent. While ritzy districts are getting camera implementation, actual dangerous spots (like housing project foyers and commons spaces) remain un-surveilled. via NYTimes.
+While a tenant group in one NYCHA project, impatient of waiting for NYCHA to install cameras, worked with Digital Divide Partnership who installed a solar-powered, wifi-connected surveillance system. via New York Magazine
+ And since we’re talking about NYCHA, learn more about the nation’s largest public housing system. via New York Magazine
+ Shifting to the West Coast, check out BART pedestrian origins, by our friend Eric Fischer. Today, where on the map do such cartographers land? Are they on programming island, graphic design peninsula or mapmaker isthmus? The field has changed much from the days of leather covered atlases and surveying tools, for sure. via The Atlantic Cities
+ Case in point: check out Peter Dunn’s handsome time scaled map of the Boston T. via Stonebrown Design
+ Meanwhile, on our fave topic of iPhone transit apps, Tim O’Reilly writes: ”Apple is opening up interfaces for third parties to add back in this functionality, and selling that as a benefit, but realistically, this is another example of Apple falling into the old Microsoft trap of “the strategy tax” on users – that is, Apple is making the product work less well for users but advancing a corporate strategic goal against competitors.” via Tim O’Reilly’s Google+
+ The next generation of DIY urbanism - nerds deploying tech solutions to help make cities work better. via The Atlantic Cities
+ Google, in conjunction with TurboVote (another past OpenBagger), has stepped in to make registering to vote, following debates among local candidates, and finding polling sites easier (as several states are doing the opposite). This website provides tailored-to-you voting data and links out to TurboVote to help you keep on top of everything. via Venture Beat
+ We’re really impressed by Sunlight Academy – “a collection of interactive tutorials for journalists, activists, researchers and students to learn about tools by the Sunlight Foundation and others to unlock government data.” via Sunlight Academy
+ When happens to a city when industry leaves? The common refrain is that when the mills are closed, the city’s economy changes. But is it always for the worse? The result of a Sasaki-led research initiative explores that while not a positive per se, cities have bounced back and the loss of industries give space for new sectors to grow. via Urban Fabric Project
+ Uh oh… California suspends its Open Meetings law to save on costs of outputting meeting data and info. via OMBwatch