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.
Software developer and Australian professor Hugh P. Possingham is now raising questions about the validity of the software in certain circumstances, Second Thoughts for a Designer of Software That Aids Conservation
Police specialists here can already monitor live footage from about 2,000 surveillance cameras around the city, so the addition of 250 cameras under the mayor's new plan is not a great jump. The way these cameras will be used, however, is an extraordinary technological leap.
Sophisticated new computer programs will immediately alert the police whenever anyone viewed by any of the cameras placed at buildings and other structures considered terrorist targets wanders aimlessly in circles, lingers outside a public building, pulls a car onto the shoulder of a highway, or leaves a package and walks away from it. Images of those people will be highlighted in color at the city's central monitoring station, allowing dispatchers to send police officers to the scene immediately.
The Smart Land Use (SLU) movement is undertaking very important work evolving the 20-acre transit village paradigm, but is ignoring massive trends that affect many more people than SLU effo
Here is a neat example of how visualization tools are helping improve the planning process for communities. It's an example we came across while researching tools for a chapter we are writing for the APA.
The City of Vail, Colorado offers an example of 3D visualization tools being used to improve the design review process. The city requires developers to submit a 3D model preferably a virtual model for design review. The virtual model is then placed in a 3D model, created by Winston Associates (www.winstonassociates.com), of the mountains, roads and ground plain to make it possible to explore the impacts of new buildings in the context of their surroundings. This technique was beneficial in getting an initially wary community behind a recent affordable housing project. Winston Associates worked with the developers to generate a 3-D model in 3ds max (formerly known as 3D Studio Max) and then placed the housing model into the site model. Using the model they demonstrated how the housing development would look from different vantage points such as the highway. In addition, the model proved to concerned neighbors that the development could not been seen from their homes. The project is currently under construction.
Some brilliant editor at Wired apparently decided that it was time to figure it all out. A one-page feature, Urban Markup Language, (Brilliant play on words) in the September, 2004 issue of Wired Magazine offers nine images of the most common forms of the graffiti, along with descriptions of what they mean.
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.
This is certainly true,
"Governments have been trying to break down the silos of data that have been built up agency by agency, government by government."
But I wonder about this evaluation, which seems to be the foundation for most of the article:
"There is one basic prerequisite that has to be met before any data merging can take place. Government agencies have to take the information that lives on paper and convert it into digitized form. "
I just saw a beta demonstration of a wildfire mitigation application developed by the University of Colorado's Planning department that uses a combination of open source GIS, SQL server, and Perl coding to help cities and counties look at alternative growth futures and how they impact fire mitigation.
Project Gutenberg is the first and largest single collection of free electronic books. They have published over 12,000 eBooks through the collective efforts of hundreds of volunteers. The Magna Carta was the project's 10,000 e-book, published in October, 2003.
Now there's apparently a precise measure of the waste caused by fragmentation of IT systems.
"Government-driven movements to shift to free or low-cost software ï¿½ 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."
The Times almost never gets LA right. They cover it like an alien planet, populated by strange, non-New Yorkers who also seem kinda hip (so what's up with that?). Usually, every NYT story about LA begins with the same implicit lead sentence that their coverage of Japan used to: "These freakin' people, you wouldn't believe what they're up to now."
And then comes this
[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.
A salient bit:
Almost a century has passed since Hollywood staged its biggest premieres in the urban heart of Los Angeles. But tonight's preem of DreamWorks and Paramount's "Collateral" at the 2,000-seat Orpheum Theater could be a turning point for the opulent movie palaces along South Broadway.
From the press release:
"As the first WiFi city in America, Grand Haven has truly lived up to its name in the Internet era, as we now allow anyone anywhere to connect to the Internet and roam the city and waterways in a completely secure computing environment," Mayor Bergman said. "The city-wide WiFi service provided by Ottawa Wireless is already enhancing the quality of life for residents and tourists and enabling the city to provide new services."
All kinds of wacky transport concepts that never, you should pardon the expression, got anywhere.