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What to Do With All That Transit Data

BY Sam Roudman | Wednesday, March 27 2013

A sample visualization of MTA performance indicators, using Roambi.

A new report from the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA highlights improvements the MTA can make to ensure its data is easier to understand and use both internally and externally, and shows how data visualizations might be more useful than endless rows of spreadsheet cells. “This is a really prescient time to have this discussion just because we’re starting to get big data flowing in from the agencies,” says William Henderson, executive director of PCAC. “And decisions have to be made about what to do with it.” Read More

How a Kickstarter Proposal For an Underground Park Raised $100,000 In One Week

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, March 27 2012

An unused subterranean space under Delancey Street in New York might someday look like this rendering by RAAD Studio.

Two tech-savvy New Yorkers turned to Kickstarter to raise $100,000 in one week for a hi-tech plan to turn an unused trolley terminal in New York's Lower East Side into an underground park. The pair turned to Kickstarter to raise money for a mock-up installation that would help them refine the technology they'd need and to demonstrate how it would work. "What we found was, people really responded very quickly," co-founder Dan Barasch said. "Hitting that in a week is an accomplishment." Read More

Open-Source, Real-Time Bus Tracking Is Coming to All of New York City

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, January 11 2012

New York City's public transit provider, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, is set to pour millions of dollars into a high-tech project that will give New Yorkers a real-time view into the exact location of every bus in the city. Read More

At the MTA, a Data Maven is Moving On

BY Nick Judd | Monday, December 5 2011

Sarah Kaufman, one of the main engines behind the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority's rapid evolution into a friendly partner with third-party software developers, is leaving the authority later this ... Read More

An Apps Contest for the MTA

BY Nick Judd | Monday, July 11 2011

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the entity responsible for the New York City Subway and commuter transportation in the city's metropolitan area, is hosting an apps contest for developers to build on top of the ... Read More

It's Like Your Friend Who Always Knows Where the Bus Is, But On Your Phone

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, March 3 2011

The MTA's MTA BusTime pilot project shows the locations of buses in real time, and the underlying data is accessible via an API. WNYC's alpha protojournohacker John Keefe has been tinkering with recently released ... Read More

Open Data Makes Good Advertising for MTA

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, December 14 2010

New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority is running an ad campaign on the city's subways bragging on the fact that the agency didn't make their own apps, and instead invited other folks to do it by opening ... Read More

News Briefs

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NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

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Tweets2Rue Helps Homeless to Help Themselves Through Twitter

While most solutions to homelessness focus on addressing physical needs -- a roof over the head and food to eat -- one initiative in France known as Tweets2Rue knows that for the homeless, a house is still not a home, so to speak: the homeless are often entrenched in a viscous cycle of social isolation that keeps them invisible and powerless. GO

Oakland's Sudo Mesh Looks to Counter Censorship and Digital Divide With a Mesh Network

In Oakland, a city with deep roots in radical activism and a growing tech scene at odds with the hyper-capital-driven Silicon Valley, those at the Sudo Room hackerspace believe that the solution to a wide range of problems, from censorship to the digital divide, is a mesh net, a type of decentralized network that is resilient to censorship and disruption and can also bring connectivity to poor communities.

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