Archive for the ‘CURIOSITY’ Category

Analyzing 1.1 Billion NYC Taxi and Uber Trips, with a Vengeance

January 18, 2016

An open-source exploration of the city’s neighborhoods, nightlife, airport traffic, and more, through the lens of publicly available taxi and Uber data

“The New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission has released a staggeringly detailed historical dataset covering over 1.1 billion individual taxi trips in the city from January 2009 through June 2015. Taken as a whole, the detailed trip-level data is more than just a vast list of taxi pickup and drop off coordinates: it’s a story of New York. How bad is the rush hour traffic from Midtown to JFK? Where does the Bridge and Tunnel crowd hang out on Saturday nights? What time do investment bankers get to work? How has Uber changed the landscape for taxis? And could Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson have made it from 72nd and Broadway to Wall Street in less than 30 minutes? The dataset addresses all of these questions and many more.

I mapped the coordinates of every trip to local census tracts and neighborhoods, then set about in an attempt to extract stories and meaning from the data. This post covers a lot, but for those who want to pursue more analysis on their own: everything in this post—the data, software, and code—is freely available. Full instructions to download and analyze the data for yourself are available on GitHub“.


[ APP ] – Are You Safe? (coming soon)

January 13, 2016

Are You Safe lets you know how safe you are at all times based on your current location within the city.

All it takes is a quick tap to see a threat meter of your safety level along with hyperlocal crime data broken down by type.


  • Simple visual representation of your safety level on the Threat Meter
  • Up to date crime data from police and local city/governments
  • Dynamically updated recent crime data for your surrounding area
  • Walk /drive /bike /bus /canoe around and see your status update as you go


  • Visiting and unfamiliar with the city?
  • Debating whether to walk or take a cab?
  • Headed to an area you haven’t been to before?
  • Not sure if you should park your car on the street?

All Cities:


MapOSMatic – Generate and print city map (with list of streets)

October 13, 2014

MapOSMatic is a free software web service that allows you to generate maps of cities using OpenStreetMap data. The generated maps are available in PNG, PDF and SVG formats and are ready to be printed.

As the data used to generate maps is coming from OpenStreetMap, you can freely reuse, sell, or modify the generated maps under the terms of the OpenStreetMap license.

[ MOBILE APP ] – Street Bump (Help Improve Your Streets)

May 8, 2014

[MOBILE APP] – Street Bump (Help Improve Your Streets)

Street Bump is a mobile app that helps identify potholes by recording “bump” data, providing the City with real-time information to help improve roads.
Street Bump, a project of the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, helps residents improve their neighborhood streets. As users drive, the mobile app collects data about the smoothness of the ride; that data provides the City with real-time information it uses to fix problems and plan long term investments.

Residents use Street Bump to record “bumps” which are identified using the device’s accelerometer and located using its GPS. Bumps are uploaded to the server for analysis. Likely road problems are submitted to the City via Open311, so they get fixed (e.g. potholes) or classified as known obstacles (e.g. speed bumps).

In partnership with Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, Connected Bits designed and developed the app while collaborating with IDEO and building from research done with Professor Fabio Carrera and InnoCentive. The City of Boston will make the app freely available so others can use and build on the project’s initial efforts.

[Qgis-user] Announcing the release of QGIS 2.2

February 22, 2014

[Qgis-user] Announcing the release of QGIS 2.2

QGIS is a user friendly Open Source Geographic Information System that runs on Linux, Unix, Mac OSX, and Windows.

We are very pleased to announce the release of QGIS 2.2 ‘Valmiera’. The emphasis on this release has been very much on polish and performance – we have added many new features, tweaks and enhancements to make the user interface more consistent and professional looking (and hopefully easier to use).The composer (used for creating print ready maps) has had a lot of work done to it to make it a more viable platform for creating great cartographic outputs.

This is first release following our new four month release schedule that is meant to make new features and bugfixes available quicker and the development and new releases more predictable.

In order to streamline the release process, we only release the source code today. The binaries will be created in close succession by the individual package maintainers. The source code is and the binaries soon will be available via the large download link on our home page:

If there is not yet a binary package for your platform on the above page, please check back regularly as packagers push out their work and the download page will reflect the new packages.

 Visual tour of the new release:

You can find a list of highlighted changes and new features listed on the detailed release announcement available here:

The Countdown Timer for the QGIS 2.2 Release

February 21, 2014

The Countdown Timer for the QGIS 2.2 Release

…how many hours to the new QGIS release?

QGIS: Changelog for version: 2.2.0

February 13, 2014

QGIS: Changelog for version: 2.2.0

The emphasis on this release has been very much on polish and performance – we have added many new features, tweaks and enhancements to make the user interface more consistent and professional looking (and hopefully easier to use). The composer (used for creating print ready maps) has had a lot of work done to it to make it a more viable platform for creating great cartographic outputs.

Whenever new features are added to software they introduce the possibility of new bugs – if you encounter any problems with this release, please file a ticket on the QGIS Bug Tracker.

We would like to thank our sponsors, developers, documenters, testers and all the many folks out there who volunteer their time and effort (or fund people to do so).

From the QGIS community we hope you enjoy this release! If you wish to donate time, money or otherwise get involved in making QGIS more awesome, please wander along to and lend a hand!

Welcome to the future Olympic Village

January 20, 2014

Welcome to the future Olympic Village

The Olympics are a special time when the world comes together to celebrate the excitement of sport. But the planning, creation and operation of the games also gives us a rare opportunity to imagine what the city of tomorrow might have in store for us. For this project, GE teamed up with MIT’s SENSEable city lab to put forth a vision of what systems and technologies could grace the Future Olympic Village.

Taxi drivers ‘have brain sat-nav’

November 4, 2013

Taxi drivers ‘have brain sat-nav’

Taxi drivers ‘have brain sat-nav’
Scientists have uncovered evidence for an inbuilt “sat-nav” system in the brains of London taxi drivers.
Saturday, 13 September 2008 20:35 UK

Roadsigns: The computer isn’t always right…

October 14, 2013

Roadsigns: The computer isn’t always right…

First ‘ignore your sat nav’ roadsigns go up
sat nav roadsign

Rlorry drivers can tear their eyes away from the satellite navigation system while approaching the village of Exton, they could well save themselves hours of trouble.

There at the side of the road are the first signs in the country specifically warning them to ignore the satnav.