Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Today, I presented the story of StreetBump at the Urban Data Management Symposium (UDMS 2013) at UCL (University College London), where our CASA friends are also located.

As I previously wrote in this blog, StreetBump is perhaps the most famous of our apps, so I figured I would put its interesting crowd-genesis on paper, for the record.   Even though it owes its fame to the fact that the app is used daily to map out (and fix) the potholes on Boston's municipal road network, StreetBump traces its roots to a boat-wake measuring device, from a city that has no roads, and no cars: Venice.
The presentation was very well received and I had the pleasure of meeting some of the big names in urban data management, like Robert Laurini and Mike Worboys.  I also had a chance to discuss concrete plans for a collaboration with CASA with Mike Batty and Andy Hudson-Smith.
I didn't have a chance to stay too long, but the trip was well worth it.  It looks like I will be back in the UK for Maptember and will be spending some time at CASA to implement some City Knowledge applications (like the UNESCO/PreserVenice app we are completing with Ben Lichtner), in conjunction with Steve Guerin and his Simtable technology.
It seems likely that we may focus on a transit application like we are doing with the Santa Fe Trails buses and Venice's vaporetti, but using real time status reports about the network conditions that CASA already shows in its City Dashboard.  The Simtable technology would allow scenario testing and visualization, and would also give us a chance to pick up where we left off with the Venice Boat Traffic interactive table.  Another possibility of cross-Atlantic collaboration is to add Intelligent Urban Agents as the software equivalents of what CASA is doing with its Tales of Things project, replacing the Near Field Communication (NFC) tags with non-physical "Geographic Indexing Systems" (the "new" GIS) and geotemporal searching applied to physical elements of the urban landscape, as we are starting to do with the PreserVenice project.
It looks like we are going to have an exciting mapsummer and mapfall!