Abhijeet Chavan's blog

Abhijeet Chavan is co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of Planetizen.

Wi-Fi and Quality of Life

Cities are planning major wireless infrastructure projects to provide city-wide wireless access. Taipei wants to build the world's largest "hotspot" providing outdoor Internet access throughout the city. [Via Slashdot]

The article quotes a Taipei city official who talks about the Wi-Fi project as not only beneficial to businesses but also to improve residents' quality of life [Italics mine].

Mapping Election Results

A color-coded map of how different states voted in the 2004 U.S. presidential election was probably the most common graphic used to convey the election results in a single picture by the news media. The following graphic by CNN uses color to highlight the states that "switched" parties.


 2004 Election Results by State


CNN: 2004 Election Results by State



The New York Times had a more informative map that took into account population density.

Going Mobile

An article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press features some interesting approaches to enhancing a city's WiFi infrastructure. (Via Slashdot)

"WazTempe, a Tempe, Ariz.-based wireless-Internet pro-vider that is turning the city into one big Wi-Fi hot spot, has come up with a clever way to plug gaps in its network: golf carts equipped as Wi-Fi repeaters. The Waz Mobile Units transmit in a roughly one-mile radius and can integrate with the rest of the city's wireless "mesh" infrastructure."

County Saves Money With Linux-Based E-Gov Solution

A financial program running on Linux is helping Stanislaw County, CA, save money [Modesto Bee].

"The Linux server now in use by the county helps manage its finances...employees who track the county's money log on to the server through a Web browser...Because there's only one program for the server instead of hundreds of copies for each computer at employees' workstations, the county also saves money on software licensing..."

Java And The Open Source Jalopy


Many state and federal governments around the world are increasingly turning to open source software for e-government solutions. According to Sun Microsystems Inc. chairman Scott McNealy, a state and local government that bases an e-government portal on open source is building a "custom jalopy

Extreme E-Learning, Virtual Worlds, And Public Spaces

Screenshot of Second Life

Wired has a story about university professors about taking online education to a new level -- teaching classes in a 3-D virtual world. The virtual world in a "massively multiplayer " online game called Second Life includes a developed economy, neighborhoods and communities, all manner of vehicles and the ability to create nearly anything imaginable.

California Considers Favoring Open Source

A report by California Performance Review Commission, recommends that state agencies "should take an inventory of software purchases and software renewals...and implement open-source alternatives where feasible." According to CNet:

California joins numerous government bodies that have adopted or considered procurement policies that favor open-source software as more cost-effective and secure. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts cast its lot with open-source last year, as have government agencies in Britain, Korea and elsewhere.

Open Source In Government

An article in the Los Angeles Times takes a look at how local and national government agencies around the world are increasing adopting Open Source Software (OSS). (See: "Developing Nations See Linux as a Savior From Microsoft's Grip" [Reg. reqd], Los Angeles Time, page A4, Aug 9th, 2004) . According to the article:

"Government-driven movements to shift to free or low-cost software � fed by security, economic and ideological concerns -- threaten to dent Microsoft's ambitions. In fact, government officials the world over, from local authorities in Austria's capital to high-ranking national bureaucrats in India, are increasingly moving from proprietary software such as Microsoft's to open-source products."

XML Schema For Monitoring Land Use

The Planning and Regulatory Services Online project [PARSOL], a local e-government initiative in the U.K. has developed a new XML schema for monitoring land use.

[The PARSOL schema] has been designed to provide a standard for planning application monitoring data (used to monitor land use against local and national plans and policies). This schema will be used for the exchange of data at a local, regional and national level...The information covers both residential (housing) and industrial (employment) information gathered from planning application, inspections and reviews.

Human Markup Language

We have a Planning Markup Language. Adam Rogers proposed a "Real World Markup Language". Why stop at inanimate objects? Enter the "Human Markup Language".

<world> </world>

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