Working at Urban Insight, I see about 10-20 RFPs for various projects each month. We have to evaluate the cost/benefit of deciding to respond to any one of these RFPs, and so the RFPs are evaluated by us much the way that our proposal would be evaluated by an organization or agency. While some RFPs are outstanding, and clearly describe the project, evaluation, and process, others are, well, downright embarrassing, or contain clauses and provisions that leave you scratching your head. Blog Post
Dec 20, 2005   By Chris Steins
The popularity of blogs and podcasting is partly driven by the simple concept of web content syndication and aggregation using RSS and ATOM feeds. Yet, a study by Yahoo suggests that RSS is still not widely adopted. The study reports: "...27% of users actually consume RSS on personalized start pages without realizing that it's the underlying technology enabling what they read. Sites such as MyYahoo, MyMSN, and the Firefox browser with its active bookmarks provide easy access to regularly updated RSS feeds with little or no effort from users." Blog Post
Dec 15, 2005   By Abhijeet Chavan
Even though I knew this data existed, seeing it spatially displayed so I could easily get the scoop on all my neighbors made me uneasy. Straight from Mathew Kane, a doctoral student in the Indiana University School of Informatics, has generated an interesting Google mashup. Blog Post
Dec 15, 2005   By Ken Snyder
Okay, somebody out there try this. Somebody who knows their way around Portland, Oregon. And then you, somebody, whoever you are, send an email reporting back. Because this is Google's new trip planner beta -- it uses Google Maps and transit info to tell you how to get from here to there on bus and so forth, as long as "here" and "there" are in Portland. And I haven't spent real time in Portland in almost 20 years. But it's Google, right? And they're smarter than all of us. Blog Post
Dec 11, 2005   By
As a new father struggling with finding baby names (our little guy was two months early), it was a pleasure to stumble across Baby Name Wizard (this requires java). The site tracks the popularity of baby names through time. The interactive design is fascinating and a great example of how to pack a lot of overlapping information into one clear graphic. It seems the name we chose - Kai - is gaining popularity. I'm always behind the trends. Blog Post
Nov 21, 2005   By Scott Page
What will be the next public participation technology? Here's one possibility… wireless laptops with electronic ink capability (and built in hand generators to boot!). All packaged to cost less than today's keypad polling devices. Way cool! 1. 2. Too bad they're not for sale, but I'm sure others will follow. Blog Post
Nov 17, 2005   By Ken Snyder
Just to keep everyone updated on the continuing development of Wi-Fi, Muni-wireless released a new report on the state of the Wi-Fi market. The long and short of it is the market is expanding rapidly with just about every city looking to get in on the action. On the flip side, the Philadelphia Inquirer last weekend ran a story about the uncertain future of wireless as a city-led initiative. Blog Post
Nov 16, 2005   By Scott Page
Clark Kelso, California's Chief Information Officer, was kind enough to respond to my recent post, California Updates State IT Strategic Plan, commenting on the state's new strategic plan and what I perceived to be a lack of focus on making technology accessible to people with disabilities. Clark writes: ...I am pleased to see that our planning activities are being followed so closely in the trade press. The last paragraph in your article suggests we may not be paying sufficient attention to Section 508 issues in our web developments. Blog Post
Oct 26, 2005   By Chris Steins
So we're hiring for two new positions at Urban Insight (the company that supports Planetizen). We're hiring a Web Designer/Developer (with preference given to candidates with backgrounds in planning), and a Web Developer / Programmer. I published the job announcements to several lists and also on a few online services that I've had success with in the past. I've received a fair number of responses, and, thank goodness, and several highly-qualified candidates (although not so many with backgrounds in planning/architecture/urban esign). Blog Post
Oct 19, 2005   By Chris Steins
While not strictly relevant to planning, it's always interesting to compare plans prepared by planners with plans prepared by other branches of government, in this case the California CIO and the IT Council Strategic Plan Committee have prepared the new California State Information Technology Strategic Plan (PDF, 220KB) The plan lists six impressive strategic goals: Make Government services more accessible to citizens and State clients. Blog Post
Oct 18, 2005   By Chris Steins