Flutterby™! : Urban hacking

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Urban hacking

2009-03-27 14:13:45.918735+00 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

I think I mentioned that I went to the most recent meeting of the Petaluma Technology and Telecommunications Advisory Committee, just to see what my local government was up to, and to see what additional information I could figure out how to extract and publish from city operations. The advisory committees, so far as I can tell, have one city council member on them, and the purpose is to have people who know of and have an interest in a field to look at information and filter that back up to the council as a whole. There were some unknown number of people as a television audience (more than one, because email comments came in during the meeting), a city employee who was doing most of the presenting, and me and one other guy (who was there to comment) in the audience. It was interesting, the two main topics (aside from the Petaluma Community Access open house this Saturday) were on how the rate structure for cable television right-of-way changes with new state laws, and notes on the free WiFi rollout that Sonic is doing downtown and a few other areas.

I found a bunch of resources online, and I'm trying to figure out how to extract some of that stuff and feed it out into forms that people could use. I thought a first pass would be to extract new building permits into RSS, and then toss them into Yahoo Pipes for geocoding and additional data munging, but the app for tracking building stuff is one of those "Web 2.0" thingies that's mostly JavaScript rather than submit buttons, which is going to make it much harder to suss out how to suck data out.

But some discussions have been started. I'm also looking at DIYCity, a web site devoted to various ways that citizens can be hacking their government and public information services to make everything more useful.

And yesterday, Lyn poitned to Greater Greater Washington looks at Virginia's new rules for subdivision street connectivity which was a look at why cul-de-sacs are out, but there's a lot of other good notes on urban planning and issues there.

[ related topics: Content Management Technology and Culture Television Community Real Estate ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2009-03-28 10:46:44.79588+00 by: DaveP

Sounds like you're peeling the casing off the sausage in order to see what's inside.

Good luck!