Posts Tagged ‘new york city’

Affordable Housing Mashup (Envisioning Development)

Friday, December 11th, 2009

wholiveshere

[Editor's note: Google mashup with fun charting trying to make sense out of simple yet complicated subject.]

Republished from EnvisioningDevelopment.net.

“Affordable Housing.” The phrase seems plain enough, but it doesn’t always mean what people think it does! It actually has a technical government definition that can determine what gets built and who lives there. Use these tools to answer the all-important question: “Affordable to whom?

What Is Affordable Housing? from the Center for Urban Pedagogy on Vimeo.

A stop-action animation on the technical definitions of affordable housing — by Rosten Woo and John Mangin of CUP, animator/designer Jeff Lai, and Glen Cummings of MTWTF. Narrated by Lisa Burriss. Sound by Rosten Woo.

Manhattan Mapped Without a Horizon (Gizmodo)

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

uptownmap

[Editor’s note: A novel map projection based more on a fish-eye lens topology of near and far from both uptown and downtown perspectives. Thanks Melissa and Curt!]

Republished from Gizmodo.
By Mark Wilson, Tue May 5 2009.

It’s rare that we get excited over maps, but this idea by graphic designers Jack Schulze and Matt Webb would be great for GPSs, combining 3D, first person and overhead views into one übermap.

The art project, called Here & There, bends the world into horizon-less, roller coaster loop topography, which allows the viewer to see their position from the first person perspective (complete with those 3D buildings that usually just get in the way) alongside the route/terrain to come.

For now, the designers’ work is available in limited edition prints only that go for $65 (per a set of two). But we can still dream that someone like Google, Apple or Garmin might come around and drop a big pile of money on the small agency before automating this visualization for real time navigation. [Here & There and Background Info via FastCompany]

Clueless in Cleveland? Use Your Thumb [iPhone] (NY Times)

Monday, September 8th, 2008

SURE, you can turn your iPhone into a Star Wars-like light saber, a virtual pet or an interactive mug of beer. But did you know that those newfangled applications can also tell you the nearest sushi bar in London, the wait time at La Guardia’s security checkpoints or how to say “Where’s the toilet?” in Cantonese?

As Apple’s iTunes App Store continues to grow with hundreds of titles, the iPhone is proving to be a useful travel tool — and not just for when you’re bored on that 18-hour flight to Singapore. The best programs take advantage of the iPhone’s location-aware feature, tailoring the information to your whereabouts. Say you land in Baltimore and you have a sudden craving for crab cakes. With a few taps, iPhone apps with names like Yelp, Urbanspoon and iWant can quickly guide you to Faidley Seafood or Obrycki’s Crab House. Other apps can point you to the cheapest gas station, book a hotel and even call a cab.

Below are some of the handiest apps for travel. Many are free, though some cost from 99 cents to $24.99. Warning: Some apps require data downloads that may incur roaming fees if you’re overseas. To avoid such fees, turn off “Data Roaming” and look for Wi-Fi hot spots.

Getting There A number of airlines are creating mobile-friendly versions of their Web sites, allowing iPhone users to shop for flights, buy tickets, check in, select seats and modify reservations. Now, at least one, British Airways, has a free downloadable iPhone app that makes finding the next red eye to London as easy as flicking your thumb.

Frequent fliers might want to download Flight Status ($3.99). It gives the status of thousands of flights, as well as the arrival gates and baggage carousels. Another app that can be useful for today’s delay-plagued skies is AirportStatus (free). It displays a list of airports in North America with delays or closings.

Travelocity (free) takes an all-in-one approach, letting you check flight schedules, gate numbers, security wait times and — if you booked through Travelocity — your itinerary. The app also lets you search for “Hotels Nearby Me” — a feature that could come in handy in travel emergencies (or, perhaps, for some other purpose).

Where to Eat Looking for a place to nosh on the road? Urbanspoon (free) recommends restaurants in more than 50 cities using the iPhone’s location-aware capability and offers reviews from newspapers, blogs and fellow users. While suggestions (and prices) can be out of date, the fun and easy-to-use app looks like a slot machine and is activated by shaking the phone.

Foodies, however, might prefer Local Eats (99 cents), an iPhone version of the guidebook series “Where the Locals Eat,” which ranks what it considers the top 100 restaurants in 50 American cities. Tapping “Near Me” finds places nearby from that list, along with reservation numbers and directions.
 
What to Do Need an A.T.M.? Thirsty for a sakitini? Shopping for a Marni purse? Several location-aware apps are vying to be your mobile concierge. Among the best are Yelp (free), which has a fanatical base of reviewers who weigh in on everything from dry cleaners to karaoke bars. Where (free) lets you scroll through different services (like Starbucks, gas stations and restaurants) and plots them on a Google Map, along with your location. And iWant (free) offers a similar service, but in a streamlined interface with clean black-and-white icons: a martini for bars, a projector for movies, a hanger for clothing stores, and so on.

Traditional travel guides are getting into the action, with mixed results. Frommer’s has turned several of its guides, including New York, Paris and London, into iPhone apps ($9.99 each). The e-guides offer many of the same maps, reviews and suggested itineraries as the bulky book. But unlike Yelp, Frommer’s doesn’t take advantage of location-aware technology; you still must look up the suggestions manually, as with a book.Washingtonpost.com’s City Guide app (free) is smarter; it lets users easily navigate through 2,000 bars and restaurants, many with well-written reviews. Unfortunately, it is limited to the Washington area.

How to say it A handful of apps seek to lower the language barrier. Lonely Planet ($9.99) offers phrasebook apps in 10 languages including Czech, Italian and Vietnamese. In addition to translating phrases like “I’ll buy you a drink,” in written text, the app also translates it verbally (“Te invito a una copa,” it says in Spanish, in a suave male voice).

A different approach is taken by Babelingo ($5.99), which may appeal to those afraid of mangling pronunciations. After choosing a phrase like “Please take me to the airport,” it displays the translation in big bold type, making it easier to show to someone, like a taxi driver. Babelingo offers 300 phrases in seven languages, including Italian, German and Japanese.

How to Get Around Numerous subway and mass-transit apps are available for major cities, with the best offering clean design, location-based station finders and service advisories. Worthwhile apps include CityTransit (for New York City, $2.99), Tube London City ($9.99) and iBart (for the San Francisco area, free).

Taxi! (free) has a yellow cab-inspired design and finds taxi services throughout the United States based on your location. Just tap one of the companies, and the iPhone dials it for you. It also offers user ratings, whether the company accepts credit cards and, according to the App Store’s description, a prescreened list based on hotel referrals.

Cool Tools Until Skype creates an iPhone app, Truphone may be the closest thing. It allows you to make cheap international phone calls over Wi-Fi (about 6 cents a minute to landlines and 30 cents to mobile phones), especially when compared with roaming rates. Some kinks need to be worked out — voice quality can be poor and calls didn’t always go through.

How much is that Chinese wardrobe in dollars? Currency (free) is a frequently updated converter for more than 50 currencies. Easier to use is MOMPF Currency Converter (free), which has a funny-looking cartoon for a mascot, and allows you to easily switch among currencies and to store favorites.

It’s Still a Big City, Just Not Quite So Big (NY Times)

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

[Editor's note: When asked to report the length of a border frontier I often pause a moment to reflect on map scale and precision. Both are developed in this article by Sam Roberts on how New York City has just shrunk by 5% in area due to a few cartographic slights of hand.]

over estimating new york city

By SAM ROBERTS. Published: May 22, 2008. Thanks Denny.

Graphic one (above) and 2nd graphic accompany the article.

Somehow, Michael S. Miller resisted the temptation when he got home not long ago.“Honey,” he would have been completely justified in proclaiming to his wife, “I shrank the city.”

Mr. Miller, a geographer for the Department of City Planning, has calculated that New York City is 17 square miles smaller than it was long thought to be.

For two decades, the city’s official directory, the Green Book, has stated definitively that the five boroughs encompass nearly 322 square miles of land.

Not so, Mr. Miller and his staff recently discovered: New York’s land area actually totals 304.8 square miles.

The shrinkage generally is not the result of rising sea levels from global warming or beach erosion or any other act of nature. It is largely the work of man, mainly Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whose yen to precisely measure everything from poverty to traffic congestion led the planning department to recalculate the city’s land mass.

Acting on the mayor’s mandate, Mr. Miller and his team spent months analyzing thousands of digitized, high-resolution aerial photographs of the squiggling shoreline and other geographic features to calculate the city’s size anew.“

This is not a reflection of a change in the physical area, but a refinement of the measurement,” Mr. Miller said.Seventeen square miles may not seem like much. But consider:

¶17 square miles could accommodate 13 more Central Parks, nearly a third of Washington, D.C., about three dozen versions of Vatican City and nearly two dozen replicas of Monaco.

¶If 17 square miles were populated at Manhattan’s density, New York might be home to as many as 1.1 million more people.

¶At the price of an acre in Midtown, as recently computed by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 17 square miles could be worth $1 trillion.

Mr. Miller said the recalculation probably would have little practical effect, other than revising the land area chart in the 2008 Green Book and amending other official records, textbooks and statistical abstracts. Its psychological impact might be significant, however, coming as it does at a time of political and economic uncertainty. With Wall Street firms shrinking, how will people respond to the news that Brooklyn is, too?

“All everybody else can talk about is how much bigger China and India are getting,” said Sylvie Smoke, 59, a retiree from the Upper West Side. “And we are losing it.”

On the other hand, given the effect of the credit crisis on real estate prices, some property owners might be pleased. If there is less land, maybe it will be worth more.

“I guess,” said Mike Slattery, senior vice president for research of the Real Estate Board of New York, “it’s good news for those who still have it.”

Planning department officials stress that their new measurement is only an estimate, an approximation subject to the vagaries of time. Over the course of four centuries, they note, the city’s land area has actually grown because adjacent waterways were reclaimed for development in Lower Manhattan and in Queens to extend the runways at Kennedy International and La Guardia Airports.

The new estimate, which will appear in the 2008 Green Book, to be released next month, reduces New York’s official size by about 5 percent.

But even in its supposedly diminished form, New York still ranks 14th in land area among cities with more than 100,000 people, according to the United States Census Bureau. (Anchorage covers nearly 1,700 square miles; Jacksonville, Fla., 758.) The new calculation also conforms more closely to census estimates.

Mr. Miller, 52, the planning department’s deputy director of information technology, said the apparent loss in land mass was distributed throughout the city.

“There’s no neighborhood that’s vanished,” he said.

That said, about seven square miles of the difference could be accounted for by better measurements of the islands and peninsulas in Jamaica Bay. And it appears that Brooklyn shrank the most, by about 12 percent, to 72 square miles from 82.

Continue reading . . .