Posts Tagged ‘dc’

Cheney Leaves VP Residence, Takes Pixelated Google Map with Him (GizModo)

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

[Editor's note: At first I thought this was pure humor but, for whatever reason, Google Maps does indeed now show detailed resolution at the Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, aka Cheney's secret hideout #1.]

Republished from Gizmodo.
By Mark Wilson, 12:10 PM on Mon Jan 26 2009

Google Maps’ satellite imagery has shown us clear shots of the White House, the Capitol and even the Pentagon. But one thing it never displayed properly was Dick Cheney’s house. Until now.

The Vice President’s quarters, located at the Naval Observatory since 1974, have been pixelated ever since Google has given the public an easy way to check them out—coincidentally ever since Dick Cheney has lived there. This censorship wasn’t by Google but those supplying Google the source images, the U.S. Geological Survey.

Now on the same week of Biden’s arrival, we’re suddenly allowed to see the VP’s house as clearly as the President’s. Who knows the exact reason for Cheney’s extra security…maybe he’d been nervous about the public catching wind of his Mini Cheney clone farm, or maybe he’s just prone to gardening in his shorts despite being self-conscious about his varicose veins. [Valleywag]

iPhone + National Park = Request for Proposals (Kelso)

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Attention iPhone software developers! The National Park Service is soliciting proposals to create a National Mall mobile wayfinding protoype, otherwise known as an iPhone app!

It is a rather ambitious, forward-looking  project that will depend on the contractor to propose technological and design solutions. The product would serve as a template for creating similar products of other urban park sites.

The request originates out of the Harpers Ferry, WV office of the Park Service. Check out the full solicitation with contact information.

Excerpts from the Solicitation and Scope of Work documents:

Independently, and not as an agent of the government, the contractor shall provide all labor, equipment, materials and services necessary to conceptualize, design, produce, test, and install a fully functional mobile wayfinding prototype of the National Mall in accordance with the attached Scope of Work consisting of 15 pages.

The NPS recognizes that creating a mobile map prototype is a new, complex, and highly specialized undertaking that requires expertise in numerous disciplines, including cartography, database development, interface design, interactive programming, 3-D modeling, wireless networking, mobile phone application development, etc. The mobile map prototype envisioned for the National Mall is perhaps the first of its kind.

The National Mall is the heart of the Nation’s Capital and of the entire United States of America. Here, the nation celebrates, honors, and demonstrates its commitment to democracy.

The Mall stretches 2.2 miles from the grounds of the United States (U.S.) Capitol west to the Potomac River, and from the Tidal Basin north to Constitution Avenue. It is home to the great symbols of our country—national icons such as the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. It also includes memorials to the veterans of Vietnam, the Korean War, and World War II, as well as lesser-known memorials to American heroes, such as the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, George Mason, and John Paul Jones. The National Mall also boasts beautiful open spaces such as the Tidal Basin, where the blossoming of thousands of cherry trees heralds spring.

Over 25 million people visit the Mall each year with 60% arriving by public transport and traversing the park on foot.

Site navigation by pedestrians in urban national parks in general is a long-standing problem. For example, at the National Mall, visitors emerging from a Washington Metro subway station into bright sunlight first must orient themselves before setting off to their destination. Finding lesser-known sites scattered throughout the Mall, such as the John Ericsson Memorial, is a challenge despite the availability of paper maps, wayside exhibits, signs, and other traditional media. The growing popularity of smart mobile devices – devices with GPS, Internet connectivity, touch-screen interfaces, and powerful graphics capabilities – promises a solution to this problem.

Applications are due by 02/12/2009. Looks like the Park Service would like to roll out a final app (free in the iTunes story? they don’t say) by next year in January (2010). Fixed Price contact to the software developer. Get coding!

Map: Walking to the Inauguration (Wash Post)

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

[Editor's note: Continuing coverage of Obama inauguration on January 20th, 2009. Unprecedented crowds are expected, severely disrupting commuting patterns. If you are within two miles of the National Mall experts say to walk to your destination (and expect security checkpoints around the Mall itself). Other coverage includes: overview map, ticketed seating, special bus corridors, and road closures and parking restrictions.]

Republished from The Washington Post.

The bad news: Witnessing this historic occasion in person will require a bit of a schlep. The good news: Officials say pedestrians will be allowed to go just about everywhere. So what about those who have to park their cars and venture over the Potomac and Anacostia rivers on foot for the first time? Put on your sturdy shoes, grab a wind-resistant jacket and climb down into this guide to walking over the 10 bridges into the District of Columbia. — Reporting by Bonnie Berkowitz

SOURCES: U.S. Secret Service, Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, D.C. Department of Transportation

NOTE: Closures and corridors are subject to change at the discretion of security officials.

Graphic By Laris Karklis — The Washington Post

Map: Inauguration Road Closures, Bridge Closures, Parking Restrictions, Tour Bus Parking (Wash Post)

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

[Editor's note: Continuing coverage of Obama inauguration on January 20th, 2009. Unprecedented crowds are expected, severely disrupting commuting patterns. If you are within two miles of the National Mall experts say to walk to your destination (and expect security checkpoints around the Mall itself). Other coverage includes: overview map, ticketed seating, and special bus corridors.]

Republished from The Washington Post.
Original post on Jan. 7th, 2009.

Map: Inauguration Special Bus Corridors (Wash Post)

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

[Editor's note: Continuing coverage of how to best experience or cope with the Inauguration of Barack Obama as 44th President of the United States on January 20th. Other posts include: Overview map and Ticketed seating.]

Republished from The Washington Post. Jan. 9, 2009.

Metro has designated 23 special bus corridors to run extended rush-hour service from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Jan. 20. Corridor service mainly follows existing Metrobus routes and bus stops across the region. The buses on these corridors pick up and terminate at 14 stops just outside the restricted area. They will run about every 10 minutes to accommodate inauguration crowds.

Map: The Inauguration of Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States (Wash Post)

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

[Editor's note: If you're planning on being in DC for the Inauguration of Barack Obama this month, grab this free map of the festivities from The Washington Post made by Gene Thorp. The map is updated regularly with the latest information.]

Republished from The Washington Post. (Updated map on 11 Jan. 2009.)

The inauguration of President Barack Obama on Jan. 20, 2009, is expected to be one of the largest public gatherings ever to take place in Washington, D.C. Millions are expected to visit the National Mall and other nearby points to view the ceremony either in person or via telescreens, watch the parade from the U.S. Capitol to the White House, and more. On this 2009 inauguration map, The Post will detail information visitors can use to plan their trips downtown. It will be updated periodically as more information becomes available. (A downloadable version is also available in PDF format.)

INTERACTIVE MAP: Explore D.C.’s Charter Schools (Kelso via Wash Post)

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

[Editor's note: I created this Flash-based Google Mashup to accompany an investigative piece (1 | 2 | 3) about the Washington, D.C. Public Charter School system in Sunday's Washington Post newspaper. Map markers can be turned on and off with check boxes or by using data range sliders to drill in on which schools are performing how well. Clicking on map markers brings up a little info window with some facts and figures about that school, and links to full database entry and comment areas. While publishing this interactive in Flash format may hinder viewing by some viewers, it sure is nice not having to program around HTML rendering funk!]

Republished from The Washington Post.

Use the map below to learn about every charter school in The District. The default view displays all 55 schools for which test score data is available; you can also map the schools with no data, as well as sites offering early childhood and adult education and GED programs. To narrow your search, click the buttons to hide or display school types, or move the sliders directly to the left of the map to display schools by test performance. A full list of all charter schools is also available.

Interact with the original. Downsized screenshot below.

SOURCES: The District of Columbia, individual schools and Washington Post research and analysis.

INTERACTIVE CREDITS: Nathaniel Vaughn-Kelso – The Washington Post, Sarah Sampsel – washingtonpost.com.

Compare Your Neighborhood to Those In Other Cities (DCist)

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

[Editor's note: Republished from DCist.com who published on the 15th of October but the Homethinking.com site was hit too hard then to promote.]

2008_1015_dctonyc.jpg

Gawker points out this new online tool from Homethinking that allows you to compare the neighborhoods of different U.S. cities. It’s a fine time-waster and a natural source of argument as to how accurate the comparisons are. Check out the D.C. to Brooklyn comparisons above — is Ledroit Park really more like Williamsburg than Shaw is? Probably not. It’s also not quite finished, it seems, since comparisons to Philadelphia yield entirely unhelpful results. Still, some of the comparisons are fun to sort through (the L.A. to Manhattan one is pretty good), even if some of them are just plain preposterous (Akron to St. Petersburg?).

Three more EveryBlock cities launched (EveryBlock)

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

[Editor's note: Adrian and the crew at EveryBlock have been busy! New is Boston, Seattle, and DC. They've also started partnering with regional newspapers to show live news on the same style map. The Chicago Tribute has a profile of Adrian. My earlier coverage of EveryBlock is here and here. As with earlier releases, the cities covered are the core juridiction of the metro area only.]

Republished from EveryBlock from 19 Aug 2008:

We’ve launched three more EveryBlock cities: Boston, Seattle and Washington, DC!

We’ve chosen these based on a combination of user feedback/demand and general “EveryBlockiness” of the cities. All three are really great, vibrant places, with plenty of interesting news and public data available at the block level. If you live in these cities, or have friends there, please take a look and help us spread the word.

Another major change to our site is our new home page. Now that we’re in eight cities, we’ve redesigned it to accommodate the longer list.

We’d love to hear your feedback about these new cities, our previous cities, or life in general. Drop us a line at feedback at everyblock.com.

Our city in 3D (Google Lat-Long Blog)

Friday, July 18th, 2008

 [Editor's note: Local interest to DC but promising in sharing of public GIS data.]

Reprinted from the Google Lat-Long Blog. Published: July 16, 2008

The District of Columbia government has submitted more than 84,000 3D models to Google Earth via the Cities in 3D program. But why would a city, let alone one that is known as a horizontal city because of a strictly enforced height limit, be so eager to participate? Here’s a glimpse into our thinking in the District’s GIS department.

1. It is the right thing to do. Fundamentally, the District Government believes that data created with public funds should be available to the public. Making this data now available via Google Earth is an important step in making our data truly accessible to the public at large.

2. Because every neighborhood can benefit from 3D. Instead of modeling just a select few landmarks in exquisite detail, we wanted to model every building in every neighborhood. Economic development was a primary driver behind development of the dataset. The buildings provide the context in which to plan and debate proposed new developments. Despite our aforementioned reputation as a horizontal city, we are also a city of spires, penthouses and domes, as you can now see. As public sector mappers, we put the entire city on Google Earth, not just downtown, because every neighborhood needs planning and development. We hope that the private sector will follow suit and create rich 3D models of proposed developments as KML downloads in the future.

3. We get better 3D performance from the cloud and we don’t pay for it. Some GIS users in the DC government, have made excellent use of the data, but with the city’s current technology, the 3D data had to be used locally on high-end desktops. Frankly, the District did not have the technical capabilities for distributing nearly 100,000 3D building across the enterprise. With the data now hosted on Google Earth 4.3, we expect DC Government users to turn to Google Earth just like the public. And using the same tools as our citizens is another powerful way to connect with them and ensure the quality of their experience.

4. We want to communicate with our residents. It is important to us that citizens, particularly DC taxpayers, understand what we do. We posted the “coolest” data set DC GIS has, because now that we have your attention we want to show you all of the other stuff we do. As part of Mayor Adrian Fenty’s drive for transparency, the DC government now makes more than 200 geospatial data sets publically available. So admire the thousands of 3D buildings, but also extend your virtual tour. You can add these datasets as layers on Google Earth, and view things like wards, trails, parks, museums, building permits, fire hydrants, zoning and even things the city isn’t proud of, like calls for rodent abatement.