Andrew Marr takes to the skies exploring Britain from above.
An epic journey revealing the secrets, patterns and hidden rhythms of our lives from a striking new perspective.
Join host Andrew Marr as he discovers how each and every one of us is interconnecting making Britain what it is today.
Britain looks very different from the skies. From a bird’s eye view of the nation, its workings, cities, landscapes and peoples are revealed and re-discovered in new and extraordinary ways. [more…]
Wi-fi structures and people shapes, from Dan Hill:
One of the ideas I’ve been exploring relates to how urban industry – in the widest sense of the word – in the knowledge economy is often invisible, at least immediately and in situ. Whereas urban industry would once have produced thick plumes of smoke or deafening sheets of sound, today’s information-rich environments – like the State Library of Queensland, or a contemporary office – are places of still, quiet production, with few sensory side-effects. We see people everywhere, faces lit by their open laptops, yet no evidence of their production. They could be using Facebook, Photoshop, Excel or Processing. [more…]
The City Geography Markup Language (CityGML) is a new and innovative concept for the modelling and exchange of 3D city and landscape models that is quickly being adopted on an international level. CityGML is a common information model for the representation of 3D urban objects. It defines the classes and relations for the most relevant topographic objects in cities and regional models with respect to their geometrical, topological, semantical and appearance properties. Included are generalization hierarchies between thematic classes, aggregations, relations between objects, and spatial properties. In contrast to other 3D vector formats, CityGML is based on a rich, general purpose information model in addition to geometry and graphics content that allows to employ virtual 3D city models for sophisticated analysis tasks in different application domains like simulations, urban data mining, facility management, and thematic inquiries. Targeted application areas explicitly include urban and landscape planning; architectural design; tourist and leisure activities; 3D cadastres; environmental simulations; mobile telecommunications; disaster management; homeland security; vehicle and pedestrian navigation; training simulators; and mobile robotics. [more…]
President-elect Obama & his team have a pretty firm grasp on technology it seems, with particularly exciting interest in opening government to transparency on the web. This is pretty exciting stuff. See how he has articulated the problems facing the US and technology leadership:
We need to connect citizens with each other to engage them more fully and directly in solving the problems that face us. We must use all available technologies and methods to open up the federal government, creating a new level of transparency to change the way business is conducted in Washington and giving Americans the chance to participate in government deliberations and decision-making in ways that were not possible only a few years ago.
America risks being left behind in the global economy: Revolutionary advances in information technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology and other fields are reshaping the global economy. Without renewed efforts, the United States risks losing leadership in science, technology and innovation. As a share of the Gross Domestic Product, American federal investment in the physical sciences and engineering research has dropped by half since 1970.
Too many Americans are not prepared to participate in a 21st century economy: A recent international study found that U.S. students perform lower on scientific assessments than students in 16 other economically developed nations, and lower than 20 economically developed nations in math performance. Only one-third of middle class physical science teachers are qualified to teach in that subject, and only one-half of middle school math sciences have educational background in that subject area. [more…]
Among the the solutions proposed, here are a few of the headings:
- Protect the Openness of the Internet
- Encourage Diversity in Media Ownership
- Safeguard our Right to Privacy
- Open Up Government to its Citizens
- Bring Government into the 21st Century
It goes on. I have not read in detail, but just about everything I have read I applaud. What actually happens is a different matter, but at least there is a vision outlined, and specific policies, almost all of which I cheer loudly.
Compared with the sad state of tech leadership in Canada. I could not even find a true technology platform from the Harper’s Conservatives (I’ve emailed his office to ask, but could someone point me to one?). Here’s the best thing I found, a grocery list of tech investments.
Conservatives invest in cutting-edge computer research
Prime Minister Stephen Harper reiterated his promise that a re-elected Conservative Government will invest in scientific research and development to help create jobs and to help Canada reach its potential to be a world leader in science and technology.
“Our government has invested over $9 billion in scientific research and development to create the next generation of well-paying, high-tech jobs,” the Prime Minister said.
Today, the Prime Minister announced that a re-elected Conservative Government will provide a $50-million grant to the Institute of Quantum Computing, located at the University of Waterloo. The Institute is a world leader in research and teaching in the field of quantum information, a discipline that could lead to new technologies and new jobs.
Since 2006, the Conservative Government has invested in a variety of leading-edge science and technology projects last year, including:
* $510 million to the Canadian Foundation for Innovation to support the modernization of Canada’s research infrastructure.
* $350 million to support leading Centres of Excellence in Commercialization and Research.
* An additional $100 million to Genome Canada for research and technology.
* Funding for research on key priorities, such as health sciences, energy, information and communications. [more…]
The Problem: Canada does not have a technology strategy.
In a partnership between Nokia, NAVTEQ, and UC Berkeley, coordinated by the California Center for Innovative Transportation (CCIT) and supported by the U.S. Department of Transportation and Caltrans, researchers have constructed an unprecedented traffic monitoring system capable of fusing GPS data from cell phones with data from existing traffic sensors. The research and development phase of this project was dubbed Mobile Millennium for the potential thousands of early adopters who will participate in the pilot deployment, launching in early November, 2008. [more…]
From the Guardian:
The geographical pattern of mortality in Great Britain over the past quarter century has been mapped for the first time, revealing how each of us is most likely to die depending on where we live. The Grim Reaper’s Road Map: An Atlas of Mortality in Britain shows exactly how people’s deaths are affected by where they live, how much money they have, the type of work they do and their lifestyle. [more…]
From Jon Udell:
Recent legislative drama highlights the absurdity of expecting people to make sense of complex texts that are evolving rapidly in high-stakes, high-pressure situations. What we have here is a classic culture clash, in this case between people who think in terms of paper documents and those who think in terms of electronic documents.
Washington is a paper-based culture. There are hopeful signs of change, and Bob Glushko spotted one of them here:
Based on the file name embedded in the pdf of the bill — O:\AYO\AYO08C04.xml — at least the people doing the publishing work for the bill are doing their best to save our tax dollars by creating the file using XML for efficient production and revision.
But there’s no public access to AYO08C04.xml. The government’s reflex is still to publish paper, or its electronic equivalent, PDF. So when the Sunlight Foundation’s John Wonderlich tried to visualize the evolution of the Senate’s version of the bailout bill, he was reduced to printing out PDFs, arranging them on the floor, and marking them up with a yellow highlighter. [more…]
I believe candidates should:
- Support reforms that increase government transparency and accountability.
- Make campaign promises specific and measurable, and report progress on promises and their metrics at least semi-annually.
- Publish the content of his or her daily schedule, including meetings with lobbyists and special interest groups.
- Support reforms allowing free access to scientific and survey data gathered by government institutions.
- Support reforms that make it easier for Canadians to obtain government information they have a right to know.
As of today, there are 51 candidate pledges (29 Greens, 21 NDP, and 1 Libera)l.
You might consider sending your candidates an email asking them if they intend to take the pledge. This is what I sent to my candidates:
Will [Candidate Name] be signing this pledge?
51 candidates have done so already.
Here’s what Twitter users think about their candidates
Voici ce que les utilisateurs de Twitter pensent de leurs candidats
Some of us are kinda, well, obsessed with the political jockeying south of the border, and this little Canadian contest seems almost beside the point (of course it isn’t). But anyway, for those of you who are data junkies at the best of times, and now suffering from Obamamania, and/or Palin fever, there are a few great projects out of the good ol US of A. [Would be nice to see the same effort and creativity put into Canadian politics, but I suspect that’s just dreaming.] Anyway, here a few nice sites to visit:
Everymomentnow.com, visual depiction of who’s in the news:
Fivethirtyeight.com (a site that digests all existing polling data, weighs it according to the polls’ past performance, and gives meta polling results, as well as some insightful commentary):
CafePress Meter (user-made t-shirt sales as polling indicator, apparently a far better measure than the traditional polls):
Do you have any good US election data sites? Any good Canadian ones?