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The Potential Problem With Personalized Google Maps? We May Never Know What We're Not Seeing

May 17, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Google has crammed a dozen notable updates into the revamped Google Maps that was unveiled this week at the tech giant's annual I/O developer conference. The new platform, currently invite-only, seamlessly folds the search function directly onto the map, eliminating the two-column display (search and directions on the left, maps ...

How Twitter Is Changing the Geography of Communication

May 16, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Since academics first began studying communication, they’ve been trying to figure out who we talk to and how those networks change with the invention of new mediums of interaction. Who you could talk to, and even what you might talk about, obviously differed between the eras of the covered wagon ...

A Live Map of the Manic Ways People Edit Wikipedia

May 10, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In the last 35 seconds, as of this writing, someone in Gambier, Ohio, updated the Wikipedia page about Erykah Badu. Someone in Rostov, Russia changed the page for the movie Django Unchained, and someone in San Francisco had something to say about the Maserati Ghibli III, an as-yet-nonexistent car expected ...

How Much Do Automated License Plate Readers Know About You?

May 9, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The information on your license plate is public data in the most literal sense. As you drive down the road, anyone can look at it, photograph it, jot it down. You have a right to try to keep plenty of other personal numbers close to the vest – your driver's ...

The Payphone of the Future Is Calling

April 26, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The May issue of The Atlantic, on newsstands now, highlights two of our favorite finalists from a competition New York City held earlier this year to reinvent the payphone for an era when landlines (and quarters) now seem obsolete. The city's 15-year contract with its current payphone vendors expires next ...

How the Rise of Telework Is Changing Our Cities

April 22, 2013 Technology has blurred the walls of the workplace in at least two dramatic ways. People who once worked inside the clear confines of a cubicle, inside an office, within an office tower in a commercial district, can now work from nearly anywhere. And because the spatial distinction has been disappearing ...

Mapping the Car Crash Near Misses That No One Ever Sees

April 19, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Every day in New York City, car crashes nearly happen. Cabs barely avoid clipping pedestrians. Cars on poorly signed roads all but careen into each other. A biker, somewhere, veers onto a sidewalk and out of the way of a speeding truck. These almost-events are even more ubiquitous than actual ...

Aggregating Cell Phone Data in Search of the 'Pulse of the Planet'

April 2, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Transportation researchers have long suspected it to be true that you’ll only spend so much time commuting. You have a travel-time budget in your head – for most of us, it’s about an hour a day – and you’ll only commute as far as you can get in that time, ...

Twelve Fresh Ideas for Transforming the Places We Live With Open Data

March 26, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This year, the Knight News Challenge has been soliciting project proposals that would open up and leverage government data anywhere at the national, state and local levels (in the U.S. and abroad). As of last week, 886 projects are vying for a share of the $5 million in funding, all ...

Who Writes the Wikipedia Entries About Where You Live?

March 26, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Physical places in the modern world are increasingly layered with digital data, as we've previously written. To take one easy example at hand, the building where The Atlantic Cities is based – in the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. – has its own Twitter feed and its own Wikipedia page ...