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Monday, January 14, 2013

News about the flu epidemic bracing the United States and the world was much in the news this past weekend. As in the past tracks the geographic extent and intensity by the number of certain search terms that is captures from users of Google Search. Generally, spots trends on a nationwide or regionwide basis (see Figure 1 below). has also released an experimental map of trends by selected cities for the U.S. (See Figure 2 below).

Figure 1

Figure 2

by Joe Francica on 01/14 at 08:19 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

This is perhaps another way to explain the power of social media. Location technology does not seem to have played a bit role.

Natalie from New Haven, CT, lost her right hand mitten. After looking for it to no avail she posted it to SeeClickFix (the "report an issue in your city" app). A day later the mitten was found and contact made and the two mittens were reunited in a local coffee shop.

As Ben Berkowitz (CEO, founder) notes on the SeeClickFix blog, this is a cheery story, but reinforces how communities can work together to solve problems. It also highlights to me that many other technologies could have stood in for SeeClickFix in this case. In particular, I'm thinking of Twitter, with a city or neighborhood hashtag. I would hope those who follow that sort of hashtag would have the same civimindedness as a SeeClickFixer.

- SeeClickFix Blog via @timoreilly

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/14 at 04:24 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
  • Geography key to making friends: (1) proximity; (2) repeated, unplanned interactions; (3) setting that lowers guard - New York Times
  • Advertise your business on EveryBlock, Chicago only for now.
  • @UrbanLaunchpad is putting riders with GPS on Dhaka busses to map routes. 
  • Farhad Manjoo on why Apple, Nokia, Google et al. map: "unknowable promise" (Cached version via @atanas' commenter Kevin, original disappeared!) 
  • Which heads of state tweet, in one map
  • Codecademy offers API lessons, but none for geo
  • Car owners frustrated with onboard GPS. Biggest issue? ease of use
  • IU information visualization MOOC aimed at grad students starts 1/22, press release
by Adena Schutzberg on 01/14 at 04:03 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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