An LCD display hanging in a neighborhood art project's entryway for any passerby mapped a neighborhood's parties. That posed a risk. But small as it was, did it offer a long term, unseen benefit?
Two problems with civic tech products -- Generous volunteers build impressive software to improve life in a city. These projects spring from imagination that’s free of institutional boundaries, and to any users or city administers who want to use them, they’re just plain free. What could go wrong?
If any app gets just 15 minutes of fame out of the box, shouldn’t those who promote it rank marketing up there with programming — especially when there’s no money for promotion, such as in projects by low-budget, volunteer-run civic-tech groups?
The secret sauce that's missing in so many complaints about transit service is supporting data. But soon there will be an app for that, at least in San Francisco. OpenTransit, now in alpha stage, running on public data, will provide transit users with the specific data they need to induce change.
I’m all for making data work for San Francisco, a city I know well and which strives to be “smart.” But then I think of Palermo, Sicily, a city I know a little bit.… Read more...