Monday, July 28, 2008

Cities Gone Wireless: Safety or Surveillance?

While some cities have seen their dreams of providing wireless Internet access for all fade, others have forged ahead with wireless networks for an altogether different purpose: surveillance.

Municipal surveillance is no longer confined to isolated street corners. Cities are mapping out vast wireless zones to create safety nets. Oklahoma City just rolled out the world's largest municipal network, linking hundreds of video surveillance cameras installed across the city. Such networks also extend to public transportation: Chicago has installed the largest network of bus surveillance in the U.S., with cameras on its entire fleet of more than 2,100 buses.

A few years ago, many cities plunged head-first into providing free wireless to the masses — especially to low-income communities — as a way of bridging the digital divide and marketing themselves to Internet startups. That didn't pan out so well in Philadelphia, which saw its much-publicized partnership with Earthlink collapse last year after the Internet service provider decided to exit the municipal wireless business.

Today, public safety is the "largest and most successful sector" in the municipal wireless market, according to, a Web site devoted to tracking wireless broadband projects and technologies. Its 2007 state of the market report found that 75 percent of cities and towns with active or planned wireless networks were using them for public safety purposes. That represents a 10 percent increase from 2006.

... MORE

Transit Takes Virtual Video Road Trip in New Zealand

Transit takes virtual road trip
The Dominion Post | Monday, 28 July 2008

A software application developed as a prototype for Transit New Zealand could let tourists and new or nervous drivers click on online maps to view videos of the journeys they intended to make.

The searchable videos would allow drivers using the software to get a feeling for tricky junctions and accident hotspots before they set out on their journeys.

The Government agency teamed up with developer E-spatial and the Microsoft Innovation Centre to produce the application, which combines maps generated by Microsoft Virtual Earth with video footage of New Zealand's 11,000 kilometres of state highways, captured each year by Transit using GPS-equipped vehicles.

Transit keeps the video to check on the condition of roads, but providing the footage to the public through online interactive access could have a range of positive spin- offs, says spatial data manager Manu King.

The maps and video can be overlaid with extra information, such as road traffic counts and accident statistics, and could help insurers and experts investigate crashes.

The prototype was funded by Microsoft and was put together using software that has only recently been released or is still being tested, such as Flash-rival Silverlight and SQL Server 2008.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Miami Man -"Whoever Transit Caught On Video Was Not Me".

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Subway Stripper Arrested for Pole Dancing

See Story (click here)