Tag Archives: The Urban Times

The Future of the Internet

21 May

Much of the recent writing and discussions on the internet have focused on political issues such as ACTA, SOPA, and Net Neutrality. These are incredibly important issues facing the internet today. But politics aside, what is the technological future of the internet? What will the internet look like twenty years from now? The internet of the future will no longer be a place – it will be ubiquitous.

Read more at The Urban Times….


Gaming and the City

24 Apr

As a child I loved SimCity. Building a city was a lot of fun, but having Godzilla destroy my city was even better. The city building franchise started in 1989 and 23 years later you can pre-order the newest release. While there are games – like SimCity, that are all about building cities – for many other games, cities have long provided the backdrop for the game play. As game technology has progressed, the freedom you have to explore the city in the game has grown. This has required more realistic rendering of cities. The companies that build these digital cities are being bought up by Architecture, Engineering and Planning firms. ESRI, the makers of geographic information software, recently purchased Procedural, the makers of CityEngine – a software for making 3D city models. While the companies involved in video gaming and building real cities are becoming harder to differentiate, urban hackers are also blurring the lines between video games and real life.

Read the rest at The Urban Times.

When Architecture and Planning Mix: BIM and GIS

20 Mar

Architects and planners work at two different scales and use two different sets of software. Architects use computer aided drafting (CAD) and Planners use geographic information systems (GIS). Architects are often drafting a single building on a site and planners are analyzing a block, neighborhood, city or region. It is not that often that a planner works at the level of a single building and it is just as rare to find an architect drafting a city. What if we could combine the work of architects and planners in GIS?

Read More at The Urban Times…

Architectural Criticism

14 Mar

The last few months have been a busy time for discussions on architectural criticism. On Feb 27th the NY Chapter of the AIA brought together:

  • Julie Iovine, The Architect’s Newspaper (moderator)
  • James Russell, FAIA, Bloomberg
  • Cathleen McGuigan, Architectural Record
  • Justin Davidson, New York Magazine
  • Paul Goldberger, The New Yorker

to discuss “Architectural Criticism Today” as the first discussion in their 4 part series on “Architecture and the Media.” Two days later, Alexandra Lange released her new book, Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities.

Read More at the Urban Times…

How To Build A Smart City

13 Mar

In the New Mexican desert, a 20 square mile city is being built from the ground up. With all the amenities and infrastructure of a modern city, the only thing making this city unique is that there are no residents. The city, known as the Center for Innovation, Testing, and Evaluation, is being built by Pegasus Global Holdings to be a testbed for the 21st century smart city. The city will provide a proving ground for alternative energy, smart transportation, and wireless networks.

Read More at The Urban Times…

Crowdsourcing Maps Using Ushahidi

13 Mar

Making maps requires the collection of large amounts of data. The size of the area you wish to map increases the amount of data needed to make the map effective. One way to accomplish the data collection is by crowdsourcing your map. A central user or community can set up a base map and allow users to input data into this map. Mapping a city this way would allow people familiar with specific areas of the city to map what they see and know about those areas. They are the local experts. This not only provides, probably, better data, but also allows for large amounts of data to be collected quickly.

There are several GIS software platforms for creating a crowdsourced map. One platform in particular stands out – Ushahidi. The Ushahidi Platform is an open source application for “information collection, visualization and interactive mapping.” Requiring at a minimum a web server, such as Apache, PHP 5, and MySQL, all of which are free and open source. Ushahidi can run on many computers.

Read More at The Urban Times…

Open Source Mapping: GIS For the Rest of Us

13 Mar

Data drives planning decisions, and those who have the data have the most power in making them. Unfortunately, it is usually governments and companies that have the data, and their decisions on planning and development impact our communities. The tools used to create and analyze data are expensive—for U.S. residents, a copy of ESRI’s ArcView GIS software is $1,500 for the most basic version. Most communities do not have the resources to purchase this type of software, nor do they have the ability to buy data collection tools such as a Trimble GeoExplorer. How can we involve communities in the creation and analysis of data so that they may help make and influence decisions about their neighborhoods?

Read More at The Urban Times…