First Week of Creative Code Fellowship

Last week I started my first week as a 2015 fellow at Gray Area and Stamen in San Francisco. It’s an exciting program and I cannot wait to see what the fellow and immersive artist are able to build in a short 10 weeks.

Here and Now

wayfindingI’ve been looking real-time sources of urban data in San Francisco. Specifically in the Mission District. Cities as Interface and the “You are Here” wayfinding map have been part of my thought process the past couple of week and are recurring element in my past work.

However, in the context of this project the user will be finding their way through layers of data less so than navigating and getting direction. I’m more interested in how people are able to engage or interface with the city data that is collected from sensors and mobile networks. Shannon Mattern wrote an excellent article on the topic.

Data Canvas & Beyond

My most recent project for was for Data Canvas: Sense Your City, a participatory city sensing project that collects and visualizes real-time environment data from 100 sensors in 8 cities across four continents. Here’s an article that does well to capture the idea of the project.

My team’s project, Urban Heartbeat explored real-time data at the neighborhood level or cities, and is the reason I’m doing the fellowship with Gray Area and Stamen.

Check out Urban Heartbeat


Mission Neighborhood

For the Stamen and Gray Area Fellowship, I’m looking at how this real-time data, along with data from other sources such as transportation, to tell stories about the Mission District of San Francisco. The architecture of the project will work for any neighborhood, but I will select datasets and layers that are highly relevant to the Mission.

The canvas for my project is four beautiful touch screens that are installed at the Gray Area Grand Theater. Along with designer, Aurelia Friedland, I’ll be creating a base map for one of these screens. At this point, I want this screen to allow the user to observe and interact with real-time neighborhood data. Ideally, the other screens will contain art and stories from other artists and storytellers.


Data and Layers

I already have several real-time data source working along with the Data Canvas:

  • Buses & Trains (NextBus API)
  • Hyper-local Social Activity
    • Foursquare Check-Ins
    • Twitter Posts
    • Instagram Photos
  • Environmental Data
    • Light, temperature, and humidity
    • Noise
    • Air quality, pollution, dust

I also have map layers for housing and land use in the Mission district. This said, I’m looking for other near realtime data sources and APIs and will be working with GrayArea, Stamen, and their partners to discover data that is relevant for my and other projects. I particularly interested in source of data on pedestrian activity.

I Need Help

I hope to work with other artists, storytellers, and civic hackers to find the right data, stories, and designs to put on these screens. If you have a good idea, please let me know.

Oh. And here’s some visual inspirations for this week: 



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