More Chatter From The Watercooler…

A few more of the links that we’ve been passing around and chewing over this week –
  • If Republicans got their way and public space was privatized…  Timeshare Backyard is the terrifying model for the future of privatized open space.  Bought to you by the Participation Agency, a project only the Ron Swansons of the world could love.
  • Playing SimCity for Real:  When disasters strike When disaster modeling and citywide systems integration was new, the defense industry developed software to predict urban phenomena.  “In the 60’s, mayors appealed to the best and brightest to apply themselves to the urban crisis. And what was in it for RAND? An opportunity to diversify beyond their Air Force contracts.”  And what was in it for the citizens? “RAND began building models they thought could predict fire patterns in New York, used to justify closing fire stations in the poorest sections of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Harlem, a decision that would ultimately displace 600,000 people as their neighborhoods burned”
  • While the Debt Ceiling debate was unpleasant, the Times created a great diagram to plot readers’ comments showing where on the  two fences they sat.  The Drudge Report’s glue-on macaroni and magic marker version was unable to be scanned in time for press time of this post.
  • declares Streetfilms’ own Clarence Eckerson to be NYC’s Brawniest Man.  (you can’t spell Popeye without OPEnPlans)

“I just ride with a camera in my hand, riding my bike. I don’t have the time or the money for someone to do a perfect dolly shot….I started lifting weights back in the mid-90s, so I could ride and hold a camera steady.”

  • Designer Erik Spiekermann’s diagram-that-incorporates-geography of the London Underground raises the question – when is a map really a diagram masquerading as a map?   Why does truth in geography weigh that heavily in discussions of transit map design? And is it a genuine criticism to point out that a transit map doesn’t perfectly reflect geography?
  • ULTra‘s new people mover system debuts at London’s Heathrow Airport. This modern people mover is moving about 800 people a day and other places are considering them.  Similar people movers have been in place in Detroit, and West Virginia.   Is the urban people mover a transportation model that can get its grounding and be successful at places other than airports and universities?
  • An insight on use of social media to promote blog posts by our own Chris Abraham“Using Social Media in Our Blogs”
  • Teenagers – get your field trip permission slips signed, we’ll host you if you write some apps that utilize open government data.
  • Even NYC’s dollhouse real estate market is tough, according to Brownstone Dollhouse
  • The Wearable OysterCard vs. The Wearable MetroCard (who wins?)
  • Finally, the Apple Way vs. The Google Way, as depicted by the New York Times