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

Dhaka is Getting a Crowdsourced Bus Map

BY Julia Wetherell | Friday, January 4 2013

The Dhaka bus map, from the project's Kickstarter page.

The capital of Bangladesh is among the most densely populated areas in the world. Like many cities in south Asia, it is serviced by a labyrinthine bus system used by millions of commuters every day. The problem is, dozens of different companies provide bus services, and there’s no map, making travel around the city far from intuitive.

A collaboration between MIT social-venture group Urban Launchpad and Bangladeshi advocacy organization Kewkradong hopes to bring transparency to public transit in Dhaka. A data collecting project sends out “flocks” of smartphone-equipped volunteers onto the city’s bus routes, where they note stops, arrival times, traffic patterns, and crowding levels. The goal is to produce a comprehensive bus intelligence system, the heart of which is a user-friendly route map for citizens and visitors alike.

Despite the high-tech nature of the data collection, the map will have a primary life on paper, as a booklet distributed to bus riders and a poster for bus stops and public gathering spots like tea houses. By taking the headache out of navigating Dhaka by bus, the initiative hopes to discourage private car ownership, which tends to increase gridlock and pollution. A Kickstarter campaign for the bus map is ongoing through next week.

Personal Democracy Media is grateful to the Omidyar Network for its generous support of techPresident's WeGov section.

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

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

More