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Archive for the ‘Online Tools’ Category

SCMP uses citizen reporting to map environmental destruction

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Today, the South China Morning Post launched Citizen Map, a project by JMSC alum Yolanda Ma that encourages readers to report environmental destruction in Hong Kong. Citizen Map is powered by the open-source crowdsourcing tool Ushahidi.

An article in today’s SCMP reported that Hong Kong’s understaffed Planning and Lands departments rely on the public to report illegal dumping and development in the New Territories. Almost 60 percent of government investigations into improper land use stem from citizen complaints, and the percentage rises to 90 percent for dumping.

The site also includes SCMP reports on individual incidents. According to the website, the project will eventually be expanded to cover other topics.

Citizen Map [SCMP]

Written by jennjettkw

November 16, 2010 at 2:13 pm

DIY Balanced Budget

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The New York Times offers an interactive feature that allows users to play around with tax and spending options until they eliminate the federal budget deficit.

The folks at Gawker say they fixed the deficit by withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan and returning taxes to Clinton-era levels.

Budget Puzzle: You Fix the Budget [NYT]

Can You Fix the U.S. Budget Deficit? [Gawker]

Written by jennjettkw

November 16, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Left Behind by the Lunch Hour Rush: Accessibility at HKU

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Elevator buttons aren't always easy for disabled students to reach.

We mastered the Soundslides program in class today, using it to document the difficulties of getting around the HKU campus in a wheelchair. Click the photo above to see what we came up with.

Written by jennjettkw

November 12, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Posted in Online Tools

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I joined Twitter. Now what?

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Derek Powazek, the editor and publisher of Fray magazine, has some advice on how to use your Twitter account more effectively. Suggestions include going private, ignoring how many followers you have, and turning off retweets. My favorite:

Remember where you are. Any thought worth thinking takes more than 140 characters to write. Twitter is useful for a great many things, but nuanced discussion of important topics is not one of them. Twitter is like shouting over the band in a bar. You can do it, but you have to keep it short: “I love this song!” Don’t get baited into a back-and-forth with a stranger. The immediate, short nature of Twitter is good at amping up disagreement, and bad at reaching understanding.

Twitter for Adults [Derek Powazek]

Written by jennjettkw

November 6, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Posted in Online Tools, Twitter

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Bloody Map tracks violent evictions in China

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John Kennedy at Global Voices writes about Bloody Map, which uses Google Maps to record forced evictions in China and educate potential homebuyers.

Although the map, which anyone can edit, is not always accurate, it draws attention to cases like that of the Zhong family in Yihuang County, Jiangxi Province. On September 10 this year, three family members set themselves on fire to protest against the forced demolition of their home to clear the way for new construction. They were all hospitalized and one family member died on September 18.

As the Bloody Map creator said last month on a Sina microblog account, “When I say that new housing is being built right now on land covered in blood, people know what I mean” (translation by Global Voices).

China: Mapping violent evictions for homebuyer awareness [Global Voices]

Written by jennjettkw

November 5, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Mapping Baghdad civilian deaths onto New York

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Mike Brennan, a PhD candidate at Drexel University in Philadelphia, used Google Fusion Tables to map 65,649 Iraqi civilian deaths, thanks to information from Wikileaks.

To help users better visualize the impact of these deaths, Brennan also overlaid the data on maps of American cities including New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago. Here’s New York:

Written by jennjettkw

November 5, 2010 at 9:36 pm