Snow plows already rumbling in West Loop. Photo taken this morning by Seth Anderson.
The City of Chicago’s Plow Tracker, debuting for last week’s snow storm, has some competition from Derek Eder and Forest Gregg, a programmer and a University of Chicago graduate student, respectively. Gregg is also the author of SVO: Powering your vehicle with straight vegetable oil.
Gregg found the data feeds that were powering Plow Tracker and worked with Eder to build a site that shows where snow plows have been, intimating which streets may have been plowed. Visit ClearStreets to see if a plow has traversed your street. The site is from a new organization called Open City. Continue reading New plow tracker-style website hits the web in time for today’s snow storm
CTA passengers wait for trains in the Loop. Photo by Jim Watkins.
Last week I excitedly announced the launch of the Chicago Transit Authority’s new system to get predicted arrival times for trains by text messaging (also known as SMS). I thought that the messaging syntax and the station codes were amusing but clever.
I emailed Tony Coppoletta, the CTA’s manager of external electronic communications manager, to ask about how the codes came to be, as well as upcoming Train Tracker features and the capabilities of SMS communications. Coppoletta directs how they reach their customers and partners with information about CTA services through digital means. Continue reading Insight into how CTA built Train Tracker by Text
A screenshot of the Naperville snow removal status map. It doesn’t track plows live.
After a reader tipped me to a McHenry County plow tracking website, I looked for other examples and found a couple that are leading Chicago’s. Continue reading Checking out other cities’ plow trackers
Thursday was the first time the City of Chicago turned on Plow Tracker, a website that shows the location of every snow plow in the “Snow Command” I reported on last week.
The web application could use some improvement. When I loaded the website at 11:50 AM, the map never loaded – searching for “plow tracker” on Twitter brought up a flurry of messages about the website, leading me to presume that the server was overloaded. The remaining page elements took over 60 seconds to load. On a second load I saw the map appeared as did 183 iterations of the funky snow plow icon.
Continue reading Plow Tracker not ready for prime time
You could make a digital, online version of this map that residents created at the Bloomingdale Trail charrette.
We constantly use maps on Grid Chicago, displaying photos of them, or embedding and linking to them. Here’re all the articles with embedded maps. I’ve even gotten John to make a map for the stealth routes! This is a tutorial on how to create your own map. Continue reading How to create your own online map: Google My Maps
Grab your phone right now and send the message “CTATRAIN THOR” to 41411. Or send “ctatrain logs” to the same number. Wait a moment.
Clever, right? Continue reading CTA launches train tracker with text messaging