Andrew's blog | MIT Center for Civic Media

Civic Tools Video: "Tool for Consensus-Based Decision Making"

Charlie DeTar walks us through prototype software to aid medium-to-large groups in consensus-based decision making.


Civic Tools Video: "Junkyard Jumbotron"

Rick Borovoy demos the Junkyard Jumbotron, which lets anyone take displays and instantly stitch them together into a large, virtual display, simply by taking a photograph of them.

It works with laptops, smartphones, tablets -- anything that runs a web browser. It also highlights a new way of connecting a large number of heterogenous devices to each other in the field, on an ad hoc basis.


Civic Tools Video: "Between the Bars"

Charlie DeTar presents his blogging platform for prisoners, Between the Bars.

It consists of software tools to make it easy to upload PDF scans of letters, crowd-sourced transcriptions of the scanned images, and the usual full-featured blogging tools including comments, tagging, RSS feeds, and notifications for friends and family when new posts are available.


Civic Tools Video: "Lost in Boston: RealTime"

Rick Borovoy demos Lost in Boston: RealTime, which uses public, real-time bus data to create inexpensive and easy-to-maintain electronic signs that can be placed near bus stops in publicly viewable, private spaces -- such as storefront windows and community centers.


Civic Tools Video: "Grassroots Mapping"

Jeffrey Warren presents his work in grassroots mapping -- helping citizens make their own free, open, high-resolution maps with common resources like kites, balloons, and inexpensive cameras.


This Week in Civic Media: Junkyard Jumbotron and VoIP Drupal make a splash; Hero Reports hits Kazakhstan

Rick Borovoy's "Junkyard Jumbotron" and Lost in Boston: REALTIME

Leo Burd's VoIP Drupal release

Grassroots Mapping

  • Grassroots Mapping/Public Laboratory launches interview series. First up: Dawn McKinney on mapping the BP spill

Hero Reports

Office Depot: Using Sourcemap to sell more recycled paper

Congratulations to Center-founded project Sourcemap -- a free way to track and view component parts of consumer goods -- which has just announced its first big get: Office Depot and New Leaf Paper.

As Marc Gunter reported on his blog, Sourcemap will be the tool of choice for Office Depot and New Leaf Paper to visualize the sourcing of their recycled paper:

Civic Media Session Explores Data in Cities

(Cross-posted at MediaShift Idea Lab)

With a redoubled focus on the community in the civic media community, the Center for Future Civic Media has launched a new speaker series. These relaxed, informal conversations about civic media featured ground-level practitioners, activists, hackers, and local leaders.

The first session, "Bustling with Information: Cities, Code, and Civics," brought good friends Nick Grossman, Nigel Jacob, and Max Ogden to our Cambridge campus. As you can see from the video clips below, these sessions are unique opportunities to talk about the amazing work that goes on in this sphere, intriguingly out of earshot of the debates on the future of journalism.

This Week in Civic Media: Cities, Code, and Civics / Sourcemap shows "Grain Drain" in the Rockies


Cities, Code, and Civics