"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Monday, October 21, 2013


Location: St. Louis, MO

Website: citypulsestl.org

CityPulse is citywide network of beacons that provides pedestrian lighting as interactive art, detects and reports street-level activity in real time, creates civic connections, and offers a new platform for human interactions and entrepreneurship.

Each beacon is a modified standard of an existing lighting product equipped with inexpensive infrared sensors and micro controllers. CityPulse gathers pedestrian motion data for display via the CityPulse Map, which can be viewed on any number of digital devices. Choose to overlay the Map with additional data from other open-API resources.

Because the Map is accessible through any web-capable device, it translates seamlessly into a mobile application or a touch-screen kiosk, making it an invaluable exploration resource for locals and tourists alike. Find a bus stop, see who’s playing at that venue, or just choose a new place to get coffee.

The beacons are available in two sizes: a planted 21-foot-tall Home Beacon and a wall-mounted 10-foot-tall Satellite Beacon. The two different options offer different levels of accessibility, accommodating everything from high-traffic hubs to off-the-beaten-path storefronts.

This variety of beacons creates a complete network of nodes into any neighborhood. Once the beacons are hardwired throughout a neighborhood, they will collect Beacon activation information to send in real-time to the interactive activity Map. When a Beacon is activated, it appears as a “blip” on the Map.

Other blips indicate geo-tagged social media activity. The Map interface can be accessed via any web browser, as well as smartphones and tablets. Due to its intuitive design and quick access to location-based data, the Map offers the ideal interface for a public kiosk (see next page), serving as an informational hub for those unfamiliar with the city, or someone simply looking to explore.

Overlaid with the Map are a variety of helpful options including:

- Venues including restaurants, bars, convenience stores, markets, and other amenities, as well as nearby beacons,

- Promotional sales or current coupons in your surrounding area,

- A calendar of events and showtimes to make correlations between crowds and activities,

- Transit routes and schedules, as well as road traffic reports,

- Applied gaming using CityPulse’s API that encourage exploration (i.e. scavenger hunts, check-ins, etc. and,

Interesting city tips, fun facts, architectural history, community art, etc.

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