Decapitation. Hanging. Execution. Not words you’d normally associate with science. Nor with New York. But they were on the white board at Science and the City, the first NYU-hosted hackfest focusing on urban science.
The event, held at ITP, a technology programme in the Tisch School of the Arts, and supported by CUSP, the new Center for Urban Science and Progress, saw over 60 participants turn up over the weekend of 9-10 February 2013, despite a snowstorm that threatened to shut the city down.
Nemo couldn’t hold us down! NYU is open for business and so are we. This morning several teams pitched ideas to a crowded room on the 4th floor of the Tisch Building in Manhattan. If you’re just joining us or thinking about it, come on by. Here’s a current map of which teams are doing what and where.
Desperate Housewares::a missed connections for things.
Desperate Housewares is a mobile app that is a photo-sharing network for things found on the street. The purpose of Desperate Housewares is to both help those who may be looking for free things on the street and to generate a creative space for those objects to come to life.
Users can take curb alert photos to share with their friends and other users can also sign up for notifications for curb alerts based on what they are looking for and where and when they want them. The corresponding photos will become part of a website that is a social network of things. One profile would represent one object in the spot it was found and would include photos and stories for that object.
On the web interface for this network, users will see a historical map of objects that have existed in each location. The app will also automatically generate curb alert posts on craigslist and will also use craigslist curb alerts to automatically stay fresh with content.
In the days following Hurricane Sandy there was a record number of volunteers and donations pouring into the battered north east. However, getting supplies and volunteers to the best locations turned into a logistical nightmare. Let’s solve that problem using social tools and the cloud!
Windchimes are internet connected environmental sensor stations that talks through payphones.
We are building Windchimes in response to NYC’s Reinvent Payphones design competition which asks “How can New York City reinvent payphones to make our city more accessible, safer, healthier, greener and better informed?”
About half of 311 complaints are noise-related. This project uses a normalized version of the 311 database stored in MongoDB. Use MongoDB’s geospatial, aggregation and map-reduce capabilities to compute noise scores for a given lat-long.
People oftentimes do not know that they qualify for potentially life changing programs. Even if they determine their eligibility for one government program, they can miss numerous other programs for which they qualify. If they do identify multiple programs to which they can apply, some become frustrated with multitude of forms that ask them to provide the same information multiple times. While Americans think of government services in terms of what need it meets (housing, health care etc) program websites are dispersed across agencies city, state and federal levels.
UGov is a mobile web framework built for government agencies to enable people to identify programs for which they qualify and ultimately apply (the application process would have to be built into a fillable PDF, or submission to the agencies’ databases). It was built as a tool that could potentially be used by government staff at shelters, or in the field at the site of a disaster.
UGov could be useful to any single government agency looking to deepen its mobile presence. The larger goal is to leverage mobile technology to set up people-centered application process for government services, so that client information could be entered once, uploaded to multiple program applications and submitted simultaneously to departments across local, state and federal government agencies.
SUMMARY OF BENEFITS
● Improve user interface and experience
● Empower government staff for on site client engagement
● Reduce paperwork for staff & clients
● Simplify application process for government programs
● Streamline client data collection
● Strengthens management of government staff through data (e.g. identifying which government employee assisted the client and when the application was submitted)
Not everything is trash. Picking through what we might think is our garbage we find that there is a lot of organic matter that makes the rest smelly. A lot of packaging that adds bulk. A lot of broken things that have reached the end of their use. But there are also real gems in NYC garbage.
Life of Trash
There is a taboo in talking about trash. Once we place trash into a trash can, we never have to think about it anymore. However, the life of trash does not end with the trash can. What happens to trash after it gets picked up? How can an individual understand the path trash takes after it reaches the trash can? Is it possible to follow the path of trash after we throw it away? Life of Trash attempts to map the path of everyday trash by using cellular technology to gather and relay location data from the time trash is collected until it reaches its final resting place. This location data is streamed into a live map which allows the user to see realtime information on the current location of their trash. By providing a live map of trash in motion, perhaps we can begin to answer the question, where does our trash go?
Most of us are now familiar with the stories and impact of Hurricane Sandy, after it swept through New York just over two months ago. 94 days after Sandy, 1900 homes are still without heat, power, and water.
There has been a huge lack of organization and communication between volunteers, victims, and across relief agencies, wasting resources, time, and money. Locals are getting more and more frustrated over their lack of control and unmet needs, and they’re the ones that will remain there, after all the relief organizations have gone.
Jointly is a platform that helps communities self-organize disaster relief without relying on government institutions.