Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Revealing Paris Through Velib Data

A very interesting project by Fabien Girardin from the Interactive Technologies Group at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona

Velib is a community bicycle rental service in Paris (similar to the Vélo’v service in Lyon and Bicing in Barcelona). The stations deployed in the city offer bikes people can use for their small and medium daily routes within the city.
[…] As follow-up to the work on Bicing in Barcelona, Mathieu Arnold granted us access to  the infrastructure status (i.e. number of available bikes for each station) over several weeks. The resulting animation shows the spatio-temporal state of the system and the mobility patterns of its users. One intention behind these visualisation is to explore how accumulated data can help people to grasp the availability and quality of the system over space and time (e.g. do not expect to encounter available bikes the different neighborhoods at certain hours). In addition we aim at revealing Paris, the life of its different neighborhoods, specific areas, their topologies and dynamics through its bike system.

The animation of these spatio-temporal data reveals the “pulse” of the Velib’ system over a full day (February 10, 2008) based on the number of bikes available at each station.

I find Fabien’s work a good example of “making sense of space” in action. It makes me think of Lynch’s notion of “imageability”. Also of Dan Hill’s ideas on urban computing and services and Kazys Varnelis’ recent article on “The invisible city” highlighting the increasing reliance on maps to understand our new reality and the opportunities for designers in developing this new language.


Connecting environemnts

Last week we had the last instalment of the workshop series organised in collaboration between the Foresight team at Arup and Tinker.it. The workshop’s theme was extended environments. We had presentations from Usman Haque and Chris Leung. They presented the work that each has done on Pachube and Extended Environments Markup Language (EEML) respectively.
Pachube is a service that enables people to tag and share real time environmental data from objects, devices and spaces around the world. It provides a series of interfaces to manipulate data using the EEML schema on a hosted service. There are libraries for Processing and Arduino making life a little easier for those who just want to get things done quickly and don’t want to fiddle with databases and servers etc.

Pachube will become interesting the more people it gets to use it. If you are working with networked devices that are sharing data over the internet, chances are you are already familiar with the technologies necessary to accomplish this. Probably you even rather do it yourself using your language/platform of choice. However the attractive to both data providers and consumers is belonging to a large distributed community of artefacts and spaces that adds context to your data.

Duncan got a feed from Arup’s BMS running pretty quickly.


Google Street View

Google has defended its controversial Street View photo-mapping tool, saying it will meet local privacy laws in European countries at launch.

The tool, which matches real world photos to mapped locations, has drawn fire from some privacy campaigners.
In the UK, Privacy International said the tool could breach data protection laws if people’s faces were shown.
Google has said it is using face blurring technology to preserve the privacy of individuals photographed.
Street View has already been launched in the US and includes photos of streets in major American cities. Photographing of areas in the UK, including London, is believed to have started last week.
Mr Davies has written to Google asking for details of the face-blurring technology, saying he would ask the UK Information Commissioner to intervene if he did not receive a satisfactory response.
He told BBC News that he was concerned that Google’s technology would not work.
Google’s senior privacy counsel Jane Horvath has responded saying that the technology had already been deployed.
She wrote: “We actually launched this technology publicly in early May, when we refreshed our imagery in Manhattan, New York.
“Since then we have applied face blurring to all new imagery launches in the US, including a major launch in June.”
Google has said it plans to launch Street View in a “few European countries” but did not give any more details.
In a statement, a Google spokesperson added: “We think this type of privacy-enabling technology is the best way of meeting the challenge of continuing to respect people’s expectation of privacy, while not stifling the development of new products and services that everyone can enjoy and benefit from.”
Google Street View Crash lead
via BBC


Wireless interactions

This weekend we’re running the second installment of the workshop series organised in collaboration between the Foresight team at Arup and Tinker.it . This weekend’s subject was Wireless interactions. We’ve had great presentations by Ben Cerveny and Massimo Banzi.
I have posted the workshop materials I used to talk about the ZigBee side of things. Also this weekend I am making available the first public release of Bricks, after two years in the making. More on that soon.


MIT Smart cities

Check out MIT Smart cities and their list of publications


Complexity Maps

Designing Connected Places is an international summer design school. But there is much more. It is also a programme for action throughout Piemonte. Using the tools of design, solutions will be outlined for 6 problems expressed by 6 local bodies. These are: health and well-being, food and new food networks, urban mobility, security and quality of life in the city, new production systems, and forms of representation of the region and its communities.
The summer school brings out a new definition of the “local” and a new role of design:
a connected local, understood as local in the era of networks and high connectivity, understood as a concept able to promote original development strategies.
A selected group of young designers of different nationalities will be called on to participate. Guided and stimulated by project leaders and visiting professors of great and proven international experience, they will work intensely for a week on themes indicated by local “clients” and prepared by meta-design work conducted by a group of researchers from various design schools.
Compexity Maps
Design for the representation of places and communities
22nd July, 2008 > 29th July, 2008 – Turin & Pollenzo, Italy
The urban territory is a system whose complexity is growing, in which a multitude of tangible and intangible flows (people, goods, information) stratify and interconnect.
Faced with all this, the traditional modes of mapping and representing the city appear entirely inadequate: the representations of the new physical and social networks, like that of their individual and collective life, are a new challenge for the design of communication. The representation of the phenomena demands the gradual abandonment of classical visual languages, i.e. of maps that lay their trust chiefly in the topological and geographical metaphor.
Overcoming these limits means building a new representation of the city: a collective vision capable of defining and visualising the new concept of urban space and, more in general, social spaces.
The theme, proposed in collaboration with the Urban Center Metropolitano of Torino, aims to produce visualisations in the form of diagrams and maps of relationships that induce a new way of viewing human-city interaction, and also useful for outlining new criteria for its development.


David Small: Designing the Future

MIT talk David Small: Designing the Future



Tagnautica by Mario Klingemann is an experimental navigation tool built to explore the space of related Flickr tags.


Bullet lights

Bullet Lights

All across Beirut you can find walls covered with bullets holes. Reminders of past violence, conflict and war. Moving through the city they are an all too familiar backdrop for any urban scene.

From the UNBUILT project


The Joules of the Universe

 Images Joulesuniverse

This diagram shows the energy transfer of a number of familiar events over the whole energy spectrum. The smallest unit of energy is the stationary photon. It is a photon that has such a long wavelength that its gravitational expansion causes the leading end to have a velocity of 2C while the trailing end remains at rest. more info

via: explorative environments

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A research blog about interaction, design research, urban informatics, ambient computing, visualisation, emerging technologes and their impact on the built environment.

About me

This is a blog by Gonzalo Garcia-Perate a PhD researcher at The Bartlett, looking at adaptive ambient information in urban spaces.

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