"open street map" entries

Four short links: 15 April 2013

Four short links: 15 April 2013

Know Your HTTP, Digital Exploitation, Insecure Webcams, and CS Courses

  1. Know Your HTTP Posters (GitHub) — A0-posters about the HTTP protocol.
  2. Crowdserfingwhen a large corp uses crowd-sourced volunteering for its own financial gain, without giving back. It offends my sense of reciprocity as well, but nobody is coerced into using Google Maps or contributing data to it. How do we decide what is “right”?
  3. Exposed Webcam Viewer — hotels in Russia, lobbies in California, and blinking lights in the darkness from all around the world. (via Hacker News)
  4. Beauty and Joy of Computingan introductory computer science curriculum developed at the University of California, Berkeley, intended for non-CS majors at the high school junior through undergraduate freshman level. Uses Snap, a web-based implementation of Scratch.
Comments: 2

Four key trends changing digital journalism and society

Commonalities between the Knight Foundation's News Challenge winners hint at journalism's networked future.

See something or say something: Los AngelesIt’s not just a focus on data that connects the most recent class of Knight News Challenge winners. They all are part of a distributed civic media community that works on open source code, collects and improves data, and collaborates across media organizations.

These projects are “part of an infrastructure that helps journalists better understand and serve their communities through data,” commented Chris Sopher, Knight Foundation Journalism Program Associate, in an interview last week. To apply a coding metaphor, the Knight Foundation is funding the creation of patches for the source code of society. This isn’t a new focus: in 2011, Knight chose to help build the newsroom stack, from editorial search engines to data cleaning tools.

Following are four themes that jumped out when I looked across the winners of the latest Knight News Challenge round.

Networked accountability

An intercontinental project that bridged citizen science, open data, open source hardware, civic hacking and the Internet of things to monitor, share and map radiation data? Safecast is in its own category. Adapting the system to focus on air quality in Los Angeles — a city that’s known for its smog — will be an excellent stress test for seeing if this distributed approach to networked accountability can scale.

If it does — and hacked Chumbys, LED signs, Twitter bots, smartphone apps and local media reports start featuring the results — open data is going to be baked into how residents of Los Angeles understand their own atmosphere. If this project delivers on some of its promise, the value of this approach will be clearer.

If this project delivers on all of its potential, the air itself might improve. For that to happen, the people who are looking at the realities of air pollution will need to advocate for policy makers to improve it. In the future, the success or failure of this project will inform similar efforts that seek to enlist communities in data collection, including whether governments embrace “citizensourcing” beyond natural disasters and crises. The idea of citizens as sensors continues to have legs. Read more…

Comment: 1
Four short links: 31 August 2011

Four short links: 31 August 2011

Maps on Android, Security Laws, Trough of Potential, and Enterprise Gamification

  1. OSMdroidThe OpenStreetMapView is a (almost) full/free replacement for Android’s MapView class. Also see this tutorial. (via Simon Gianoutsos)
  2. 10 Immutable Laws of Security (Microsoft) — an oldie but a goodie. Law #1: If a bad guy can persuade you to run his program on your computer, it’s not your computer anymore.
  3. What’s in The Trough? (BERG London) — as a predictor or similar tool for action, the Gartner Hype Cycle is comically useless. As a tool for brainstorming, as BERG point out, it’s fantastic.
  4. JP Rangaswami’s Enterprise Gamification (Livestream) — video of JP’s “Enterprise Gamification” talk. As Kevin Slavin points out, the introduction is cheesily bad but the talk is pantswettingly good.
Comments: 3
Before and After Shots of Google's Iran Maps

Before and After Shots of Google's Iran Maps

There many places in the world where it is not possible for larger companies to map them. These can be for economic reasons as is the case for Black Rock City (the temporary 40,000 person home for Burning Man). Or for political reasons as is the case for Iran and countries such as China.

As I mentioned the other day Google greatly improved their map coverage of Iran via user contributions through their Mapmaker program.

Comments: 6

GeoData Explorations: Open Street Map's Growth

Open Street Map (OSM), the open data mapping project, has grown a lot over the past year. It now has almost 80,000 users and 800 million data points. OSM's data is still freely available, but commercial services around it have sprung up. Cloudmade is a startup that recently moved from the UK to San Francisco to be closer to…

Comments: 6

DisasterTech from Where2.0

I was honored to speak with Mikel Maron at Where2.0 about innovation in Disaster Technology, a topic that is extremely important to me. Here is the video: This talk covers the ongoing efforts of: World Shelters, the UN Joint Logistics Centre, Humanitarian.info, InSTEDD, and Humanlink. You can read about the development of SMS GeoChat, the Sahana effort for Burma/Myanmar (Radar…

Comments: 2