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DIY City Releases DIY Traffic

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DIY City is a new tech movement aimed at empowering geeks to remake their cities. The site has forums where people can propose projects and then discuss the potential solutions. Since its launch in late 2008 many local chapters have sprung up (start one for you city!).

Today DIY City is launching its first project, DIY Traffic. It uses Twitter to send and receive traffic updates from subscribers. So far there are three cities that have gone live. You can check out San Francisco, Chicago, and Portland to see the app in action or to participate.

The app is very simple but potentially quite useful, especially in a city that doesn’t have traffic maps or if you travel on side streets. DIY Traffic will accept traffic updates, let you send out an alert and let you query for the conditions on a specific street. To set up the service for your own city just grab a twitter account, a server and follow the instructions.

I find it impressive that DIY City was able to go from a challenge issued in October and to a released app in under five months. Given that the group has just formed and doesn’t have a set structure it says a lot for the level of interest techies have in doing civic work.

John Geraci will be speaking at Where 2.0 about DIY City and how geeks may be their city’s best hope.

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  • anon

    isn’t this like CommuterFeed.com?

  • http://diycity.org John Geraci

    CommuterFeed looks great, though it seems to rely entirely on user input for its information. The result, in places like Seattle, is very old traffic info: http://commuterfeed.com/cities/SEA/

    DIYtraffic uses live traffic APIs for information, then allows users to add their own info on top of that.

    It’s also an open-source project that we hope people will build on to make it more useful. See the discussion just starting out here on how to do that: http://diycity.org/discussions/improving-diytraffic

    If you have any thoughts along these lines, please join in the conversation!

    John