Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

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

Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.

GO

wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

GO

The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

GO

tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

GO

Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

GO

monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

GO

More