smartercities:

Open Data’s Road to Better Transit | Government Technology
Data is everywhere. It now costs less to capture, store and process data than ever before, thanks to better technology and economies of scale. And more than ever, the public expects government to use data to improve its services. Increasingly, government’s problem is not capturing the data, but having sufficient resources to clean and analyze the information in order to address issues, improve performance and make informed decisions.

smartercities:

Open Data’s Road to Better Transit | Government Technology

Data is everywhere. It now costs less to capture, store and process data than ever before, thanks to better technology and economies of scale. And more than ever, the public expects government to use data to improve its services. Increasingly, government’s problem is not capturing the data, but having sufficient resources to clean and analyze the information in order to address issues, improve performance and make informed decisions.

A Beautiful Vision Of An American High-Speed Rail Map | Co.Exist
Imagine if the entire country was linked by 220-mile-per-hour trains. That’s what this map does.

High-speed rail in this country is a joke. The Acela barely even hits its highest speed on its short route from Washington, D.C., to Boston and projects have been scuttled across the rest of the country as governments tighten their belts, leaving us well behind Europe and Asia when it comes to fast, efficient rail travel.
But imagine if things were different. Imagine if, instead of a rail system that hadn’t materially improved in nearly a century, our government had built an amazing network of high-speed rail lines that could whisk you from any major city to another in a matter of hours. That’s what this map, from California Rail Map, does.

A Beautiful Vision Of An American High-Speed Rail Map | Co.Exist

Imagine if the entire country was linked by 220-mile-per-hour trains. That’s what this map does.

High-speed rail in this country is a joke. The Acela barely even hits its highest speed on its short route from Washington, D.C., to Boston and projects have been scuttled across the rest of the country as governments tighten their belts, leaving us well behind Europe and Asia when it comes to fast, efficient rail travel.

But imagine if things were different. Imagine if, instead of a rail system that hadn’t materially improved in nearly a century, our government had built an amazing network of high-speed rail lines that could whisk you from any major city to another in a matter of hours. That’s what this map, from California Rail Map, does.

Railroad Sensors Predict Derailments Wirelessly « Wireless Sensor Networks Blog
Union Pacific, the nation’s largest railroad company, says a new software program deployed throughout its network can now predict certain kinds of derailments days or weeks before they are likely to occur, improving safety and potentially avoiding millions of dollars in damages. The company moves some 900 trains per day, including 175 per day in its central north-south corridor.
Union Pacific first started using acoustic sensors 10 years ago to transmit noises from vibrations of ball bearings in train wheels back to a control center that can communicate directly with engineers on board the trains. This allows the company to get trains off the track at the earliest convenient opportunity (for example after a load is delivered and the car returns to a terminal), but before a faulty bearing causes a derailment. More recently, the company started using visual sensors that can detect when wheels begin to flatten–another factor that can cause an problem on the rails.

Railroad Sensors Predict Derailments Wirelessly « Wireless Sensor Networks Blog

Union Pacific, the nation’s largest railroad company, says a new software program deployed throughout its network can now predict certain kinds of derailments days or weeks before they are likely to occur, improving safety and potentially avoiding millions of dollars in damages. The company moves some 900 trains per day, including 175 per day in its central north-south corridor.

Union Pacific first started using acoustic sensors 10 years ago to transmit noises from vibrations of ball bearings in train wheels back to a control center that can communicate directly with engineers on board the trains. This allows the company to get trains off the track at the earliest convenient opportunity (for example after a load is delivered and the car returns to a terminal), but before a faulty bearing causes a derailment. More recently, the company started using visual sensors that can detect when wheels begin to flatten–another factor that can cause an problem on the rails.

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Step into the Smarter Planet Time Machine!

For a little Friday Fun, try one of these three settings:

Or for quintessential quantum experience, try the Random button to sample one of the more than 3800 posts about All Things Smarter since we started three years ago in November, 2008.

You are welcome to like or reblog your favorites to feed our collective intelligence on those posts that best reflect how the world’s systems can become more sentient and sensable.

Of course, you can always browse through the misty mountains of Smarter Time via the Archive. Want to hold Smarter Planet in your hand? Get the mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Step into the Smarter Planet Time Machine!
For a little Friday Fun, try one of these three settings:
…One Week Ago
…One Month Ago
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Or to really get your smarter groove on, try the Random button to sample one of the more than 3600 posts about All Things Smarter since we went back to the future in Nov. 2008.
You are welcome to like or reblog your favorites to feed our collective intelligence on those posts that best reflect how the world’s systems can become more sentient and sensable.
Of course, you can always browse through the misty mountains of Smarter Time via the Archive. Want to hold Smarter Planet in your hand? Get the mobile apps for iOS and Android.
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30 Hoop Art Cars of Extreme Awesomeness

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You are welcome to like or reblog your favorites to feed our collective intelligence on those posts that best reflect how the world’s systems can become more sentient and sensable.

Of course, you can always browse through the misty mountains of Smarter Time via the Archive. Want to hold Smarter Planet in your hand? Get the mobile apps for iOS and Android.

laughingsquid:

30 Hoop Art Cars of Extreme Awesomeness

Step into the Smarter Planet Time Machine!
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Or to really rev up your Flux Capacitor, try the Random button to sample one of the more than 3600 posts about All Things Smarter since we went back to the future in Nov. 2008.
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Of course, you can always browse through the misty mountains of Smarter Time via the Archive. Or for a real time warp, scroll through all the Time Machine posts.

Step into the Smarter Planet Time Machine!

For a little Friday Fun, try one of these three settings:

Or to really rev up your Flux Capacitor, try the Random button to sample one of the more than 3600 posts about All Things Smarter since we went back to the future in Nov. 2008.

Want to hold Smarter Planet in your hand? Get the mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Of course, you can always browse through the misty mountains of Smarter Time via the Archive. Or for a real time warp, scroll through all the Time Machine posts.

Talking Trains (Again) With IBM’s Head Of Rail Innovation 
When we last spoke with Kieth Dierkx, in July 2009, IBM had just opened its Global Rail Innovation Center. Since then a lot has changed in the  railroad world, and Dierkx, the center’s director, believes a lot more  will change in the years to come. Sure that means developing high-speed  rail networks. It also means using technology to create a smarter, more efficient railroad experience; as Dierkx recently wrote in the Journal of Commerce (subscription req’d), “improving the physical infrastructure can only  take us so far.” We caught up with Dierkx to talk about what might carry  us the rest of the way.
Infrastructurist: You recently wrote that successful rail in  the future will be about more than physical infrastructure. What do you  mean?
Keith Dierkx: I think we’re entering a period of  much higher integration of transportation systems. One of the phrases  that we use is the “multi-modal” approach to transportation. One example  of that is, I’m sitting in the IBM building one block from the recently  torn-down Transbay terminal in San Francisco. They’re now turning it  into a multi-modal hub, where we would be integrating the local San  Francisco municipal transportation — that could be the trolley car  system, the bus system, the trams — with the high-speed rail, with the  bus network. All those things are going to be coming together in a  single place.
What we’re seeing now broadly is that within certain distances — you  might say 400 to 500 miles — that high-speed trains are a very  attractive alternative to air travel. If I’m downtown in San Francisco  and I wanted to go to downtown Los Angeles, and I can do it in 2 hours  and 49 minutes and I literally walk one block from where I am now to get  on train and go — this goes to that ease of use in the multi-modal  world.

Talking Trains (Again) With IBM’s Head Of Rail Innovation

When we last spoke with Kieth Dierkx, in July 2009, IBM had just opened its Global Rail Innovation Center. Since then a lot has changed in the railroad world, and Dierkx, the center’s director, believes a lot more will change in the years to come. Sure that means developing high-speed rail networks. It also means using technology to create a smarter, more efficient railroad experience; as Dierkx recently wrote in the Journal of Commerce (subscription req’d), “improving the physical infrastructure can only take us so far.” We caught up with Dierkx to talk about what might carry us the rest of the way.

Infrastructurist: You recently wrote that successful rail in the future will be about more than physical infrastructure. What do you mean?

Keith Dierkx: I think we’re entering a period of much higher integration of transportation systems. One of the phrases that we use is the “multi-modal” approach to transportation. One example of that is, I’m sitting in the IBM building one block from the recently torn-down Transbay terminal in San Francisco. They’re now turning it into a multi-modal hub, where we would be integrating the local San Francisco municipal transportation — that could be the trolley car system, the bus system, the trams — with the high-speed rail, with the bus network. All those things are going to be coming together in a single place.

What we’re seeing now broadly is that within certain distances — you might say 400 to 500 miles — that high-speed trains are a very attractive alternative to air travel. If I’m downtown in San Francisco and I wanted to go to downtown Los Angeles, and I can do it in 2 hours and 49 minutes and I literally walk one block from where I am now to get on train and go — this goes to that ease of use in the multi-modal world.

If Watson can win Jeopardy, can IBM make cities smarter?

Source: Grist

by Todd Woody

IBM has generated a lot of buzz lately for Watson, its game-show-playing supercomputer that recently bested a couple of skin jobs on “Jeopardy.”

Less high profile is the expansion of Big Blue’s computer and software systems designed to monitor and control municipal water, energy, and transportation systems. Developed under the umbrella of IBM’s Smarter Planet effort, such systems are designed to cut water and energy consumption and save cities money.

On Monday, IBM announced a series of projects showing that in the future, public works may be just as much about sensors and cloud computing as pipes and concrete.

In Washington, D.C., software analyzes the city’s water system — pipes, valves, drains, and the like — to predict when infrastructure ­(some of which dates to the Civil War) is likely to fail. It then prioritizes repairs and replacement of water mains, to take one example, before they break down. The system also automatically dispatches repair crews and monitors water meters, identifying defective ones that can result in a loss of revenue for the city.

Down the coast in Wilmington, N.C., IBM has deployed GIS software to map 1,500 miles of water lines and 143 pumping stations so the water system could be monitored in real time. When something goes wrong, the smart water system generates a work order to fix the problem.

"Having geographic intelligence allows us to not only have a real-time view of our entire operation to optimize our teams and improve the efficiency of our work, but also to drill into the significant details on history of that equipment, and the relationship to the overall community," said Nancy Gallinaro, the chief operating officer of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority. "This is especially critical a time when we are faced with aging infrastructure and the challenges associated with a struggling economy."

Across the Atlantic in Switzerland, IBM is rolling out a sensor and computer system to let Swiss Federal Railways perform real-time monitoring of 1,864 miles of track, plus switches and railroad stations. Another IBM software service manages those smart electricity meters being installed nationwide in the United States while yet another tracks medical equipment in hospitals in real time.

Watson, meet the green Skynet. 

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