Saturday, October 6, 2012

San Francisco Leads the Way

San Francisco was named the “Best City” in’s ranking of 100 largest cities in America. The survey analyzed attributes such as leisure, educational facilities, economic factors, crime and air quality.

The City by the Bay, this year's winner, provides residents with the best blend of entertainment, education, safety, clear air, and a prosperous economic base.”

Reference: Konrad, Alex, America's Best Cities, Business Week, October 2, 2012 
Photo: Belvedere around San Francisco Yacht Club by Brocken Inaglory under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Smart Street Lights

San Francisco plans to reduce its street lighting bill in half by connecting streetlights to mini power grids that can be monitored and controlled remotely; and by installing LED light bulbs. The city would be able to dim street lights where they are not needed, or brighten street lights in response to fog or critical traffic conditions automatically and in real time. This project is a part of a larger pilot program to connect core city services to a unified wireless system in order to deliver services more efficiently.

Here’s how the pilot project will work. Nodes attached to each streetlight will monitor the light’s power consumption and relay that information to the utility. Using that data, the city can monitor conditions, remotely control the streetlights or set timers or automatic indicators for turning the streetlights on or off.”

Reference: Richman, Eli, San Francisco Tests a Streetlight That Thinks for Itself, Governing, September 2012

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Facebook’s New Campus

Facebook has hired Frank Gehry's architecture firm, Gehry Partners, to design a new, sprawling office building which will house those engineers in a big, open space, with walls cleverly angled so the insides don't feel oppressive.”

Facebook currently has 2,200 employees in its Menlo Park complex. The new campus will allow Facebook to add 6,600 employees on the East Campus and another 2,800 employees on the West Campus.

Reference: Thomas, Owen, Here's A First Look At Facebook's Amazing New Campus Designed By Frank Gehry, August 24, 2012
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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mountain View 2030 Plan Approved without Housing for the Techies

After four years of visioning process, Mountain View has approved its 2030 Plan. The plan encourages development along El Camino Real, North Bayshore, Moffett Boulevard and the San Antonio Shopping Center area. However, it removed an allowance for 1,100 apartments in the North Bayshore area which would have provided much needed housing for the employees of high tech companies such as Google.

Environmentalists were split over the pitch for new housing in North Bayshore, with supporters saying it would reduce greenhouse gasses from commuters and wildlife preservationists saying it would encroach on wildlife in Shoreline Park.”

Reference: DeBolt, Daniel, Google housing axed in city's general plan, July 13, 2012

Real Time Transit Data Visualization

The prevalence of personal digital devices such as smart phones and tablets, is accelerating widespread application of intelligent data on mobile devices which is accurate, informative and instantaneous. NextBus is a high tech company that delivers real time transit information to help riders navigate their journey.

“Because traffic variations, breakdowns, and day-to-day problems faced by transit providers can interrupt service, NextBus was designed to keep your customers on schedule even if their bus isn't.”

San Francisco Public Transit Data Visualization from Jeevan Kalanithi on Vimeo.

Reference: Kalanithi, Jeevan, San Francisco Public Transit Data Visualization and Smart transportation systems on the rise, NextBus, June 3, 2012

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