Blogs

Another city experimenting with another wireless network: this time it's Las Vegas, and according to this article in the always-educational IEEE Spectrum they're building not WiFi but a mesh network, and it's for municipal services, not bloggers drunk on the Strip. A mesh network, as almost everyone reading this will know better than I do, is nodeless -- that is, instead of having a hub that directs traffic to and from spokes, mesh networks treat every user as a place to route data. Opinion
Jan 24, 2005   By
In advance of a conference on natural disasters this week in Kobe, the United Nations is warning city-makers to...beware what lies beneath! Okay, so they're probably not flacking the kind of eldritch horrors that our friends in the Fantastic Four dealt with in their very first issue, but according to this article from the BBC they are concerned about concentrations of subterranean development in the same places that get hit with tsunamis and earthquakes. Opinion
Jan 14, 2005   By
What happens in a city where the rule of law and public health fall apart, but capitalism and technology do not? It's a different kind of post-apocalyptic town -- Los Angeles without the Blade Runners, or maybe just present-day Johannesburg. Here's an article from the Naval War College Review from a couple years back that sketches the map of such a city. All the problems of a megacity and none of the fun, it sounds like. Opinion
Jan 11, 2005   By
Take a planning challenge, add some technology and a pinch of public process, mix them just the right, and you have a recipe for good decision making. Orlando County Florida is cooking up such an event- and planners, practitioners, academics and members from all communities will be interested in watching their progress. Orlando Florida is embarking on a year-long initiative to address economic, environmental, land use, and transportation needs for a 90,000-acre study area in southeast Orange County. Opinion
Jan 9, 2005   By Ken Snyder
I wanted to offer this picture as a New Year's gift for those interested in the sometimes strange mix of technology and space. I took this a couple years back in Chang Mai, Thailand. Opinion
Jan 5, 2005   By Scott Page
Because I can: here's another Wired story I can flack. Writer David Goldenberg collects half a dozen examples of supercool, high-tech bridges in the latest issue. When Chris or Abhijeet teach me how to upload pics with our new software, I'll put a couple here. Meanwhile, the story's online. Salient bits:Today, an explosion of new designs and materials is creating a third golden age of bridge building. Cable-stays transfer the load on the roadway to towers via radiating wires. Opinion
Jan 3, 2005   By
Exciting improvements in planning are possible when GIS tools are used in combination with public participation tools such as keypad polling. During a comprehensive plan update meeting in Hayden Colorado, flip charts were replaced with computerized systems and keypad voting tools to gather resident input on a proposed development and future growth. CommunityViz and GIS were used to analyze the impacts of growth and to create a visualization of what the proposed development would look like in the landscape. Opinion
Dec 21, 2004   By Ken Snyder
Because I'm kind of a dumbass, I forgot to post the link to this really interesting story from the December issue of Wired, the magazine for which I work. Does it still count as flacking my mag if I didn't write or edit the story? Anyway, the point of the piece is that you can control traffic by not controlling it -- let chaos reign, and people naturally slow down and find their own order. Wisdom of crowds, or something like that. Opinion
Dec 19, 2004   By
This time I didn't make it up. From the strange, inventive, and apparently European Web site socialfiction.org comes Psychogeographical Markup Language, a way to tag urban environments with metadata that's not cartographic but emotional. They say, "PML incorporates work done in fields like annotated space, geo-tagging, mental mapping, GIS & collaborative mapping but is different in that it aims at the invisible & the absurd." As socialfiction's explanation Opinion
Dec 16, 2004   By
David Sucher argues that France's spectacular new bridge is not just a feat of engineering -- it's architecture."...I'd suggest that it qualifies as architecture, maybe even top-notch architecture..." Brian Micklethwait wonders about the reason for building the bridge: "Economically it looks crazy to me. A few more curves on the road and they could surely have saved themselves billions." Opinion
Dec 16, 2004   By Abhijeet Chavan