So you want to fly spacecraft?

Today’s landing of a spacecraft on a comet is truly a stupendous engineering feat. ESA Rosetta spent 5 years, including three flybys of Earth and one of Mars in order to slingshot in order to land a 3-ton machine on a 4-km round rock moving at 135,000 km/hour. (meaning that the comet moves ten times it’s entire length every […]

Professional Civic Engineering

“Unruly Nature” Roads are particular engineering feat that deeply affect our regular lives yet pass by largely unnoticed. So effectively designed and implemented, we typically only notice them through relative minor, but annoying, failures such as potholes or flooding. Periodically, a major catastrophe reminds us the nature and importance of these infrastructure components and the […]

WIAD DC Data Visualization panel

This weekend I participated in a fun panel on Data Visualization as part of World Information Architecture Day in DC. The moderator was Sean Gonzalez from Data Community DC and included from Amy Cesal from Sunlight Foundation, and Maureen Linke and Brian Price from USA Today / Gannett Digital. You can see the video here. There was a clearly interesting gap between our perspectives as storytellers […]

The Fourth Screen

People viscerally engage with their personal technology devices. Recent studies indicate that we spend 6.5 minutes of every hour awake with our phone, and even more time than we do with our partner. Anecdotally I have heard that we have mobile in our hand more often than we are wearing pants. Fortunately we adapt. At least in my […]

Codename Farewell or Clone at your Own Peril

Aaron and I were discussing how the web facilitates inspiration and sometimes even copying of other sites or applications. This is a positive outcome of open access that can create evolutionary improvements. However in my experience I have also seen people clone an interface where they missed the larger context of the interaction, or even worse […]

Faith in Services, Trust in Data

Earlier this week Google announced Keep, their new service for quickly storing notes from your phone and online. As others have pointed out, it’s similar to the popular Evernote. Feature comparisons aside, the launch of new services providing common, even essential, access to my information highlights a disconcerting trend. Faith in Services Underlying these product decisions is the manifestation of the […]

Everyblock closes

In 2007 at the beginning of the popular emergence of local maps and amidst a changing journalism industry, an innovative platform was launched that provided a uniquely local and up to date view of cities. Everyblock, a news feed for your neighborhood, was built as an open-source platform that used government open data feeds to […]

CrisisCommons receives $1.2m funding

It is incredibly exciting to announce that today we found out that our grassroots project, which started as an idea and meeting at an open government unconference, is getting some incredible support to grow and sustain over the next few years. I’ve shared our experiences, and the support that has been growing from academic institutions, companies, foundations, and within our own […]