This post is to provide Hebrew-searching folks with the Jerusalem and Tel Aviv election result maps that I worked up. Keep on scrolling for our regularly scheduled English language content.
The Red Cross and the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs are on the ground in the Philippines after typhoon Haiyan. An urgent need? Understanding the lay of the land. Which streets are usable? What buildings are still there, and which ones have collapsed? OpenStreetMap – the wikipedia of the mapping world, is stepping into the breach – providing a platform to crowdsource an up-to-the-minute picture of the situation on the ground.
As of today, over 700 people have contributed over a million and a half changes to the shared map of the ground (update: as of 9 December the numbers stand at 1618 people and 4.4 million changes. Click the link to see the current stats.) To make the information accessible to aid workers, the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap team is releasing daily exports for GPS devices and other information systems.
OpenStreetMap has been involved in helping in humanitarian crises before, but this is the first time they are doing so at the behest of the Red Cross themselves. Updated satellite imagery may have been just as helpful as the crowd-sourced map. Apparently, the DoD has that, and they’ve been telling the Red Cross where to focus their attention, but they haven’t yet released the images. It’s not as easy to get ahold of eye-in-the-sky images as one might think, not even for the Red Cross.
October 22 saw municipal elections throughout Israel. The contests for Jerusalem and Tel Aviv were both hard fought – both for mayor and for the city council. The map applications here let you explore where in the city the votes for each candidate and party came from, and to compare the performance of multiple parties in fine detail.
One more map helps to tell the story of Jerusalem’s election. I hope to write an article just focusing on the dynamics shown here in the map of Jerusalem Voter Turnout.
Shai Agassi presents Better Place at this year’s TED conference. The finish – in particular – is quite powerful.
about President Eisenhower’s viscera.
These are Marshall McLuhan’s words (circa 1955) about the impact of electronic media on the human psyche and society. Substitute ‘twitter’ for ‘teeter’ and virtually anything for Eisenhower and you have a compelling picture of the present age. Information moving instantaneously to all parts of the globe, he writes, is explosive.
We can, and do, have world events pouring through us like electricity. I can easily become a twitching, twittering nerve cell in a massive identity-robbing global network.
What are the emotional impacts of this for the individual?
Do we have a moral obligation to be present to all of this information – to feel it?
How can I live if I do not put up walls or selectively empathize?
Who do I become if I do put up walls and selectively empathize?
For the next 10 days or so, the second round of voting is happening at change.org. 90 issues passed the first round, and the top ten vote getters will be presented to the Obama administration on January 16th.
One that gets my attention, but hasn’t yet worked it’s way to the top ten, is Lawrence Lessig’s proposal for publicly funded elections. See his presentation and vote here. It may well be the best idea I’ve ever seen in American politics. Moreso, without this or a similar measure, it’s easy to see America suffering greatly as corruption eats away at the heart of its political system.
The 7 minute presentation is well worth watching, and is, I believe, a cause for hope.
Lawrence Lessig just won me as a new fan. I feel like I can breath better after listening to this interview (below).
(For those of you reading via syndication, click through to the original post to see the video.)
Topics include Professor Lessig’s relationship with Obama, national emergencies, transitional government, trust, the virtues of amateur creativity, hybrid economies, copyright (the entrenched policy, the dangerous reaction, and a more reasonable reform), remix as fair use, Creative Commons, his shift into focusing on corruption as the core underlying problem, the influence of money on politics, how to break the political dependency on money, and getting congress to put their reform chips on the table.
“These are not the hard things that congress are getting wrong; these are the easy things that congress is getting wrong.”
Update: Here’s the powerful presentation on changing congress that he refers to in the video.