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August 16 2010

18:43

GoMap Helps Communities Map Local Events, News

GoMap is a map-based interface for local news, initiatives, building projects, public hearings and tweets. Our project, which won a 2010 Knight News Challenge grant, is ment to turn a city into a neighborhood, a place where everybody sees and hears his/her friends, can communicate with each other, and have fun based on their geographical location. Here's how the project was described by the Knight Foundation:

To inspire people to get involved in their community, this project will create a live, online map with local news and activities. GoMap Riga will pull some content from the web and place it automatically on the map. Residents also will be able to add their own news, pictures and videos while also discussing what is happening around them. GoMap Riga will be integrated with the major existing social networks and allow civic participation through mobile technology. The project will be tested in Riga, Latvia, and ultimately be applicable in other cities.

You can also watch a video about GoMap:

Knight News Challenge: GoMap Riga from Knight Foundation on Vimeo.

Below is a piece-by-piece overview of the elements that will be incorporated into the project.

Project Elements

News -- GoMap will automatically read news from online sources and place them on the map. GoMap will notify people about the news related to their home or interest area, so that people won't miss it when something is going on in their local community.

Initiatives-- Issues like "this fountain needs to get fixed" or "let's have an artist wall here" could take place on the city map. People could also create initiatives on the map, gather signatures from fellow citizens, and bring the initiative to the attention of the local municipality, media, police, etc. in order to get things done.

Building projects-- GoMap will automatically place all the local building projects on the map, notify locals about them, and in effect host an online public hearing about these projects.

Twitter -- Tweets like "check out this bar" or "let's meet right here" will be incorporated into GoMap. With just two clicks, people can have their tweets placed on the map.

We're currently in the very early stages of development and you can keep an eye on our progress at http://gomapdev.appspot.com. Our key challenge is to master the Google Maps API and create a lot of new code in order to get things to work and look the way we need.

Let us know what you think about our project, and thanks for reading!

18:43

GoMap Helps Communities Map Local Events, News

GoMap is a map-based interface for local news, initiatives, building projects, public hearings and tweets. Our project, which won a 2010 Knight News Challenge grant, is ment to turn a city into a neighborhood, a place where everybody sees and hears his/her friends, can communicate with each other, and have fun based on their geographical location. Here's how the project was described by the Knight Foundation:

To inspire people to get involved in their community, this project will create a live, online map with local news and activities. GoMap Riga will pull some content from the web and place it automatically on the map. Residents also will be able to add their own news, pictures and videos while also discussing what is happening around them. GoMap Riga will be integrated with the major existing social networks and allow civic participation through mobile technology. The project will be tested in Riga, Latvia, and ultimately be applicable in other cities.

You can also watch a video about GoMap:

Knight News Challenge: GoMap Riga from Knight Foundation on Vimeo.

Below is a piece-by-piece overview of the elements that will be incorporated into the project.

Project Elements

News -- GoMap will automatically read news from online sources and place them on the map. GoMap will notify people about the news related to their home or interest area, so that people won't miss it when something is going on in their local community.

Initiatives-- Issues like "this fountain needs to get fixed" or "let's have an artist wall here" could take place on the city map. People could also create initiatives on the map, gather signatures from fellow citizens, and bring the initiative to the attention of the local municipality, media, police, etc. in order to get things done.

Building projects-- GoMap will automatically place all the local building projects on the map, notify locals about them, and in effect host an online public hearing about these projects.

Twitter -- Tweets like "check out this bar" or "let's meet right here" will be incorporated into GoMap. With just two clicks, people can have their tweets placed on the map.

We're currently in the very early stages of development and you can keep an eye on our progress at http://gomapdev.appspot.com. Our key challenge is to master the Google Maps API and create a lot of new code in order to get things to work and look the way we need.

Let us know what you think about our project, and thanks for reading!

January 24 2010

07:56

Los Angeles Scores High as Alpha World City

Los Angeles, California, is one of several U.S. cities, along with New York City and Chicago, to enjoy the designation of “alpha world city”, a concept developed at England’s Loughborough University to identify strategic geographical locations that play an important role in the ongoing process of globalization. Essentially a 12-point scale, the Loughborough system divides the world’s leading cities into three categories: alpha, beta or gamma, depending on whether and to what extent the city in question satisfies a dozen general criteria.

With twelve points each, New York City, London and Tokyo are the undisputed point leaders in what is really a two-tier classification system within the overall “alpha world city” category. Within the alpha group, Los Angeles is a second tier designate that meets ten of the twelve characteristics ascribed by Loughborough University to the world’s leading cities.

Name recognition is at the top of the list of characteristics every alpha world city must have. In the world of alpha cities, the mere mention of a city’s name transcends any and all geographical boundaries. Consider the fact that many cities around the world share the same name. However, there is universal agreement that a reference to Paris, London or New York, for example, automatically refers to one and only one specific city in France, the United Kingdom or the United States, respectively. Much the same is true of Los Angeles, also universally recognized simply as “L.A.”, the bustling economic and cultural center on the U.S. West Coast.

Here’s a look at several other characteristics on the Loughborough University list that help qualify the City of Los Angeles as an alpha world city:

- An alpha world city has a substantial population. According to 2006 estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau, L.A.’s population is 3.8 million, making it the largest city in California and the second largest city in the United States after New York City.

- An alpha world city is a transportation nexus, usually with an important international airport used as a hub by a number of international air carriers. Los Angeles International Airport, or LAX, is the world’s fifth busiest commercial airport. LAX serves nearly ninety domestic and seventy international destinations and is considered a gateway to destinations throughout Asia and Oceania.

- An alpha world city is also a cultural nexus. As the focal point of America’s television and movie industry, film and TV studios in Los Angeles produce world-class entertainment seen both domestically and abroad.

These are only three of a dozen characteristics that define an alpha world city according to the Loughborough University scale. Los Angeles scores ten of twelve points on this scale, making it one of the planet’s most influential and important cities.

Matt Paolini is a senior researcher for CityBook.com, the family-safe Online Yellow Pages, which carries an extensive directory on Los Angeles film.

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