Ok, so on 9th March, Transport Minister Stephen Joyce outlined New Zealand's infrastructure's current and future needs over the coming 20 years. Don't know about you, but I'm not prepared to wait for the creation of government-driven projects that try to solve questions that open technology can already answer.
How about approaching something simple for a starting point. Is there any way we can make sense of the jumbled mess of government websites - help communicate Wellington's services and culture in a joined-up way, so that people can actually get value from them?
Hey all -
You may have seen on the main thread that the DIYtraffic Bot is up and running in beta and we've got it tracking traffic right here in Chicago!
There are a couple ways you can interact with it:
1) follow traffic_chicago on Twitter to receive real-time updates (to your mobile phone, if you wish)
2) send a reply to @traffic_chicago to post your own traffic info if you see an accident or jam (no texting and driving, 'natch)
3) send the account a direct message with the name of a street to find out if there have been any recent traffic reports containing that street name (note, if you follow traffic_chicago, it will take about 30m for it to follow you back so you can send DMs to it).
Let me know if you have any problems / questions / comments or suggestions!
We've got a spec on the First DIYcity Project all ready to go, and are planning a launch as soon as some light development is done on it. Now we need a developer who can help us get to the finish line.
If you're a developer, please consider being that person.
It's a very short and contained project, not a lot of work. Could be easily done in your spare time.
See spec here.
All code written will be open source and will live on DIYcity's servers.
Anyone lending a hand will be credited on the app with your name and a URL.
Contact us at email@example.com for details if you're interested.
The possibilities of this forum are practically limitless - so let's start exploring them! While we haven't had a physical meet up (yet) this space can be a starting point for Twin Cities specific DIY ideas. Please, respond to this thread with
-what the ideal DIY TC would look like
-urgent (TC specific) issues you want to tackle with DIY tech
-next steps in addressing those issues
Also: how can we spread the news about this project? Like any forum, it depends on a quantity of quality contributors - spread the word!
I had an idea over the weekend for an app that would allow people who wanted to share the cost of a taxi together to find each other in a city. This would be a very straightforward app to build, no? Match up people for starting point and destination point, along with time of departure. Make it a system that operates on the fly, people can look for a taxi share just a few minutes before their departure.
Could work well in cities at night, when mass amounts of people are leaving bars, restaurants, clubs, etc in nightlife areas and heading to residential areas. And for that matter, could work well the other way too, when mass amounts of people are leaving residential areas and heading to the restaurant, bar & club areas.
You could approach the safety issue in various ways if you wanted. Wont go into that here.
It's kind of like Dodgeball, but for after you leave the bar.
Could be very useful, money-saving to individuals, and could cut the # of solo taxi rides out there.
Seth Godin recently posted about an Iphone application idea he had:
"Have the iPhone use the gps data... upload where I was a minute ago and where I am now. Figure out my speed and route. Use the data to tell other RadaR users which route is best."
You can read the full post here: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/11/an-iphone-app-t.html
We're really excited about the potential for this app and what all of you here at DIYcity can do to make it come to life.
lots of public records here, not sure if there's an API or not
I live in the Bible Belt, Texas to be specific. I live in College Station (home of Texas A&M University- great at engineering and some other sciences), but College Station isn't as large as some of the other cities here on DIYcity so I've had a tough time thinking of any traffic related issues. However, it is big enough to notice a giant leap in traffic on Sundays when church gets out- I think the development of twitter bots for various cities in the Bible Belt could definitely be useful. Basically you setup a way for churches to signal the bot that their service is over, thereby letting everyone following the bot know that traffic is about to spike.
What is the most amazing DIYcity idea you've got? The thing you've been thinking about building for years, or something just off the top of your head right now. Let's have it.
DIYcity Challenge #1: build a Twitter bot that helps users avoid traffic and get where they're going faster.
Details: There's an interesting app called the Shakeshack Twitter bot. Created and used by a group of people in Manhattan who love eating at Shake Shack, it's a bot that allows anyone to broadcast to others in the group info about how long the line is at Shake Shack at any time. And the line is usually really long, so it's pretty useful to have that info ahead of time. Knowing beforehand what the line is like can mean the difference between waiting a half an hour to get lunch and waiting five minutes.
How it works:
1. You request to follow twitter.com/shakeshack.
2. Whenever you go by shakeshack, you send a note to @shakeshack describing how long the line is. It's short, it's long, it's to the first tree, second tree, 10 min, 20 min, etc.
3. That tweet gets redistributed to everyone subscribed to @shakeshack, and those people can then make an informed decision: go grab a burger because the line is short, or skip it because the line is long.
The result: people get their burgers and shakes with only a fraction of the time spent waiting in line that they would normally spend. Time is saved, energy is saved, everyone is happy.
How could you extend this idea to work for other situations where people want to avoid traffic?
Directions for building a Twitter bot here: http://blog.stevepoland.com/how-to-create-a-twitter-bot/
Responses to DIYcity Challenge #1:
485sucks Traffic Bot 12/7/08
See discussion on this challenge here.