Abhijeet Chavan is co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of Planetizen.
Five years ago, in an article titled "GRASS Is Now Greener
" [Linuxpower, Oct 1999] , I had written about the significance of the GRASS
GIS being released under the GPL and the potential of combining the newly "open-sourced" GIS with the open source MySQL database. A reader had commented that the open source PostgreSQL
database was more commonly used with GRASS.
Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 4:30pm PDT
This from reader Matt Bai, who responds to my observation that all the buildings in Times Square are coated with animated, lighted advertising signage: "I noticed the same thing when I was staying in Times Square recently. It's like a sci fi movie--everything is live action distraction. (I just coined that term,
by the way--live action distraction. I want to be credited in your blog.)"
Okay, Matt. There you go.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 9:34am PDT
We knew about this
already - Reuters is reporting yet another United Nations report that says global warming and population growth are increasing vulnerability to floods. This time they say there'll be 1 billion people exposed to the threat by 2050.
I didn't go back and re-read before posting, but if I remember right that's much the same as what the Pew Oceans Commission said about coastal sprawl
Monday, June 14, 2004 - 11:33am PDT
San Francisco - The current issue of Science
has an interesting Policy Forum laying out some of the challenges of building in earthquake country (fulltext here
; pdf here
). The salient point:
...basic data and analysis are lacking for how buildings and structures perform under the extreme loads produced by earthquakes. Some experts think structural damage prediction models are based largely on opinion. Application of laboratory data is difficult because of soil- structure interactions and difficulties simulating excitations at high frequencies. These limitations are increasingly important as the postearthquake performance goal for critical buildings moves toward immediate occupancy and functionality.
Thursday, June 10, 2004 - 5:30pm PDT
Kevin Leeson, Special Projects Coordinator and Chris Alvarado, Associate Senior Planner, setup and run the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission Weblog
. As far as I know, this is the first public-sector planning blog in existence.
The purpose of the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission Weblog primarily is to act as a news gathering and dissemination resource for the Greater Cleveland and Cuyahoga County planning community, which includes 59 communities, cities, villages and townships.
Wednesday, June 9, 2004 - 4:24pm PDT
is a website log analysis program that uses an graphical urban metaphor
to visualize website traffic flow.
"A company's entire Web presence is seen as an urban or suburban neighborhood, with each individual Web page presented as a building. The more visitors on a site, the taller the buildings, and the brighter the lights on each floor...each visitor is represented by a small avatar that, when clicked, presents a passport that offers several pieces of information about the user, such as her or his IP address, where that person came from and more. Avatars from dot-com domains wear a suit. Those from dot-edu domains dress as students."
Wednesday, June 9, 2004 - 11:44am PDT
The US Environmetal Protection Agency has launched their daily Ultra Violet Index
website, where you can search for your zip code's daily UV Index rating.
Tomorrow's Los Angeles UV Index rating is 9: "Try to avoid the sun between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Otherwise, seek shade, cover up, wear a hat and sunglasses, and use sunscreen. "
The UV Index is computed using forecasted ozone levels, a computer model that relates ozone levels to UV incidence (incoming radiation level) on the ground, forecasted cloud amounts, and the elevation of the forecast cities.
Tuesday, June 8, 2004 - 8:27pm PDT
initiative is seen as a model e-government project but it has had trouble attracting users
according to an article in Government Computer News. The website enables citizens to apply for grants online.
"[The Office of Management and Budget] officials are working to define utilization -- how e-government projects are used after they’ve been fully implemented -- and plan how the projects will reach the marks they set. Project managers must decide who their customers are and how they’ll measure use of the service...
[Officials] have identified several obstacles to finding users: informing them about the portal, making it easy for them to use and getting other agencies to participate....
Tuesday, June 8, 2004 - 11:14am PDT
New York - An interesting observation about the impending demolition of Hollywood landmark restaurant Perino's here courtesy of the "LA Cowboy" blog.
So, why don't
they just move it
Sunday, June 6, 2004 - 8:13pm PDT
New York - I'm in Manhattan, at a hotel in Times Square. It's been more than a year since I was here. And I'm struck by the increase in active signage, even here, the heart of inventive building-side ads. Just about every building here in Times Square is coated with multicolored, programmable screens. Some of them just do text; others are nearly as good as a television.
So just an observation, but as flat-screen technology gets better, as LEDs get brighter, we're going to see a lot more TV-like screens replacing static billboards.
Sunday, June 6, 2004 - 7:46pm PDT