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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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NYC's Innovative New Map System Won't Leave You Lost

NYC's Innovative New Map System Won't Leave You Lost | green streets | Scoop.it

Even for the most direction-savvy New Yorker, emerging from the dark pit of the subway can be a disorienting experience. New York City streets are bright, they’re loud, oftentimes they’re smelly, and worst of all, maps are virtually non-existent. Or at least that used to be the case.


Just this week, the Department of Transportation unveiled its WalkNYC initiative, a program that will bring comprehensive pedestrian maps to all five boroughs. In a city where an estimated 30 percent of all trips are made by foot and one out of every three locals can’t tell north from south, they’re probably going to come in handy.


Though NYC’s public transportation is top-notch and we are technically on a grid, it’s easy to get lost or overwhelmed when traveling by foot. That’s why the DOT enlisted the help of PentaCityGroup, a consortium of urban planners, engineers, designers, cartographers and geographical information specialists, to solve the problem.

Their goal? To create an information-packed map that would orient pedestrians and help them find the gems each NYC neighborhood has to offer. The first of these new information kiosks was installed earlier this week in Chinatown (they’re already located at every Citi Bike station), and it’s expected that others will be popping up in midtown Manhattan, Long Island City in Queens and Prospect Heights in Brooklyn this summer

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luiy's curator insight, July 3, 2013 8:49 AM

If the style of these maps looks familiar, that’s because it is. The design team wanted to marry the current design to the graphic language that was was established for the subway system in the late 1960s. The typeface is still Helvetica (albeit with a slight twist–the type’s square dots are now round) and it uses the same organizational conventions (white type on a dark background). “All of this was deliberately echoing the way the subways look,” Bierut explains. “We wanted people to be able to ride the subway, come out and orient themselves.” Bierut says the design of the maps is meant to be accurate, trustworthy and friendly. But not too friendly—this is New York City, after all. “We wanted these things to be beautiful in a way, but also characteristic of the best of New York.”

ParadigmGallery's comment, July 8, 2013 4:02 PM
great...can't wait to try these...
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Reinventing the Payphone: Designs for NYC's Future Public Smartphones...

Reinventing the Payphone: Designs for NYC's Future Public Smartphones... | green streets | Scoop.it

When Mayor Bloomberg announced New York City’s Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge last winter, it was an opportunity to see how designers would reimagine these idle relics of last century’s infrastructure into something other than a shading device for smartphone-browsing in sunny weather.


From the looks of the finalists, which Bloomberg announced Tuesday, tomorrow’s payphone could have a lot of app-style features, from weather reports and wayfinding to voice and gesture control.


A handful of New York’s roughly 11,000 payphones already serve as wifi hotspots thanks to a pilot program launched by the city last summer, so the leap to hyperconnectivity isn’t as far-fetched as it may seem. A few years down the line, we could all be using a shiny new network of payphones to call taxis by voice command, charge our devices, check the weather for our urban farms, and, inevitably, look at ads.

The six finalists are chosen in five categories—creativity, connectivity, functionality, community impact, and visual design.


Visit the article link to view the proposals and learn more about what may be the payphone of the future...

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Flo @ddline2020 's curator insight, March 10, 2013 5:26 AM

Nouveaux styles, nouvelles fonctions pour des cabines téléphoniques du futur 

kaja jacobs's curator insight, March 11, 2013 11:20 AM

looks so cool but people can do what you are doing not so cool

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Video: How ‘augmented reality’ will make boring cities beautiful | SmartPlanet

Video: How ‘augmented reality’ will make boring cities beautiful | SmartPlanet | green streets | Scoop.it
One of the most sophisticated demos of augmented reality to date transforms a drab model cityscape into a colorful, bustling metropolis...
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NYC Subways Deploy A Touch-Screen Network, Complete With Apps

NYC Subways Deploy A Touch-Screen Network, Complete With Apps | green streets | Scoop.it

The designers at Control Group--have been hired by New York’s MTA to bring a plan for bringing a networked, touch-screen system to their subways. Starting this year, 90 touch-screen kiosks will make their way to thoroughfares like Grand Central Station and hip stops like Bedford Avenue. Together, they’ll make a beta network for 2 million commuters and tourists a day.


Each kiosk is a 47-inch touch screen, encapsulated in stainless steel, with an operational temperature up to 200 degrees. They’ll be placed, mostly in pairs, outside pay areas, inside mezzanines and even right on train platforms. Control Group has skinned the hardware with a simple front end and an analytics-heavy backend. And the platform will even support third-party apps approved by the MTA.

At launch, the screens will feature all sorts of content, like delays, outages, and, of course, ads (which bring in $100 million in revenue for the MTA each year, but mostly in paper signage). Yet its most powerful interaction for many will likely be its map, which features a one-tap navigation system.

You look at the map, you tap your intended destination, and the map will draw your route, including any transfers along the way. It’s an interface that puts Google Maps to shame.

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James's curator insight, March 21, 2013 6:15 AM

Touch interface has seen a rise in the community, such as information booths.

It allows for easy usability and quick access for people in a hurry.

While it does give convenience to the people, it's another job that's been mechanized because of its efficiency.

 

Touchscreens do away with the harder input devices and allow people to use it little to no prior knowledge of how to access it.

luiy's curator insight, March 21, 2013 10:23 AM

THE POWER OF EXTRA SENSORS

 

At the same time, the system’s screens could be the least interesting part of this project. The kiosks will be fitted with extra modules--video cameras, mics, and Wi-Fi--to open up a whole secondary layer of data collection and interface.

 

With cameras and mics, the MTA can enable two-way communication (what I imagine as emergency response messaging), and they can also pull in all sorts of automated metrics from their stations--they’d have eyes capable of counting station crowdedness or even approximate user ethnographics.

Meanwhile, Wi-Fi opens the door for networking a whole platform of mobile users with Internet access and other streamed content. Given that the average person waits 5 to 10 minutes on a platform, O’Donnell sees the potential of engaging, sponsored experiences, like a networked game of Jeopardy, while people wait for the train, or streaming media content, like TV/movie clips. A tourist could, of course, do something far more practical, too, like download a city map in moments.

“We can’t provide Internet for everybody,” he says, “but we can allow interactivity on the platform.”

david nguy's curator insight, October 21, 5:53 PM

Sous la ville, de nouvelles technologies et innovations se mettent en place afin de faciliter la diffusion de l'information.

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Connecting the Physical & Digital Worlds: Smarter Systems for Smart Cities

Connecting the Physical & Digital Worlds: Smarter Systems for Smart Cities | green streets | Scoop.it
Technology is being used in ways you would never expect to help solve fundamental problems, from managing a football stadium on game day, to helping manage transportation systems and emergency operations.

As organizations and large facilities like stadiums, museums, schools and government buildings continue to grow and provide more people with faster, better, innovative services, we need to make them more efficient--not by cutting back services, but by getting insight and intelligence on how our physical world functions.
From roads to vehicles to buildings to HVAC systems and lights, thousands of objects not only need to be managed, but how they interact and affect each other must be optimized. By addressing and answering these fundamental questions, we can get real insight to drive better decision making and efficiency.

If we analyze this data, we can find inefficiencies or make connections we never would have imagined. By connecting the physical and digital worlds, these massive organizations that are part of our daily lives can deliver more efficient services to us all...
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