Posted on June 30, 2014 by Juan Francisco Saldarriaga

Streetsblog contributor Stephen Miller wrote about our CitiBike Rebalancing study: 

"Coming across an empty bike-share station when you need a bike — or a full one, when you need a dock — is a disappointing experience, to say the least. While Citi Bike’s rebalancing efforts try to keep up by shuttling bikes around town, the company is working against a tide that shifts demand unevenly across its service area.

Juan Francisco Saldarriaga, a researcher at Columbia University’s Spatial Information Design Lab, mapped those demand imbalances as part of a project the lab is working on. ”Origins and destinations of Citi Bike trips are not necessarily symmetrical during the day,” he wrote. To untangle the patterns of bike-share riders, the team used weekday data from last October to create a matrix showing imbalances at every station by hour of day."

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Posted on June 25, 2014 by Spatial Information Design Lab

Emily Badger of the Washington Post wrote about our CitiBike Rebalancing Study:

"As a form of public transportation, bikeshare systems have one major catch: The bikes seldom circulate themselves in quite the way planners would like. If users traveled around town in all directions, at all times of day, in relatively equal numbers, docks would empty and refill naturally. None would ever be totally empty. None would ever be completely full.

Of course, this is not how people travel in the real world (and it is not how cities are built). In Washington, commuters flood out of residential neighborhoods in the morning (emptying docks there), many aiming for the same few blocks downtown (where the docks are invariably full). In New York, riders descend on Penn Station during rush hour; they congregate around Union Square at night."

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Posted on June 8, 2014 by Juan Francisco Saldarriaga

As part of the Urban Design Event Series (5 Borough Studio, Summer 2014), Juan Francisco Saldarriaga presented the lecture Activity Mapping, at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University.

Posted on June 1, 2014 by Juan Francisco Saldarriaga

Citi Bike Rebalancing Study featured on Visualising Data's "Best of the Visualization Web...June 2014" list. 

Visit the link below to find out more:

http://visualisingdata.com/index.php/2014/08/best-of-the-visualisation-web-june-2014/

Posted on March 31, 2014 by

The New York Times, City Room contributor Matt Flegenheimer on Juan Francisco Saldarriaga's research on CitiBike trips: 

"Since its introduction last May, the Citi Bike program has attracted 100,000 annual members but far fewer daily subscribers than expected, a combination that has contributed to the system’s precarious finances as operators look to expand.

The math is simple: Regular riders strain the system through repeated use, leading to higher costs. A new data visualization project demonstrates this phenomenon, and makes clear the degree to which the bike share system has become interwoven into the city’s transit network."

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Posted on February 27, 2014 by Juan Francisco Saldarriaga

On February 27th, Juan Francisco Saldarriaga gave the lecture The Uncertainties of Data at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste. This lecture was part of the City as Resource Lecture Series.

Visit the links below to find out more:

http://www.zhdk.ch/?pid=61281 & https://vimeo.com/90226947

Posted on February 10, 2014 by

Advanced Data Visualization Project written up by Johnny Magdaleno on The Creators Project

"Since technology is responsible for growth in the world’s collective knowledge, it also shares the responsibility of categorizing that knowledge into easily digestible bites. Because what’s the use of this glut if it can’t easily be understood? And in order for data to have the largest possible impact, doesn’t it make sense for it to be understandable by researchers and blog-readers alike?

This conflict is one of the main issues breathing life into the Advanced Data Visualization Project (ADVP), a data analyzation project now in its second year at Columbia University. Birthed from a collaboration between international newswire Thomson Reuters and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), the ADVP is looking to make intricate systems--like neurons, international port logistics and library catalogues--both easily readable and stunningly beautiful."

Visit the link below to find out more:

http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/turning-cryptic-data-into-beautiful-digital-mosaics

Posted on October 24, 2013 by

"Kurgan's Close up at a Distance is an ingenious and exciting push at the margins of what is possible to see and understand using satellite imagery, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The book is a review of and reflection on her provocative artistic and design projects using geotechnologies since the early 1990s."

Geographical Review, Volume 103Issue 4pages 584–587October 2013

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Posted on October 23, 2013 by

Million Dollar Blocks on view in MoMA's Design and Violence exhibition. Thanks to Steven Pinker for this article about the project:

"Information graphics have been given a bad name by USA Today. Many people think of them as ways of tarting up the trend of the day into a bit of eye candy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our ability to understand cause and effect in the world depends on grasping complicated relationships among variables—how people, money, actions, power, things, and qualities are distributed in space, how they vary in time, and how they affect one another. The human brain did not evolve to do such complex calculations. But we are primates, with almost a third of our brain devoted to vision and visual cognition. Translating complicated relationships into a visual format is the best way we have of co-opting our primate neural circuitry to meet the demands of understanding our world. And it is a challenge where the creativity of artists, graphic designers, and other visual thinkers is essential. We have made do with standard graphical formats—pie charts, line graphs, organizational charts, and so on—for more than a century. We need ways to figure out how to use the resources of the page or screen—shape, contour, color, shading, motion, texture, depth­—not just to channel data into brains, but to reveal subtle relationships as visual patterns."

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Posted on August 24, 2013 by

Columba Peoples reviews Laura Kurgan's Close Up at a Distance: Mapping, Technology and Politics in Society and Space

"Laura Kurgan’s Close Up at a Distance: Mapping, Technology and Politics is an insightful and innovative book that defies straightforward classification, ‘poised’ as it is “at the intersection of art, architecture, activism and geography” (page 17). Its subject matter—satellite images, satellite mapping and remote-sensing images—is by now an established concern of critical geographical scholarship in particular (see, amongst others, Cosgrove 2001; Crampton 2008; Crampton 2010; della Dora 2012; Dodge and Perkins 2009). Readers familiar with that scholarship will doubtlessly recognise many of the issues and debates broached by Close Up at a Distance: over the military origins of satellite technologies, images and mapping and the extent to which this still imposes secrecy and restrictions on their availability; on the promise and perils of ‘participatory’ cartography and the ‘democratic’ potentialities this may or may not offer; and finally, whether and how the increasingly ubiquitous use of satellite images and mapping might “transform … our ways of seeing and experiencing space” (page 14). The distinctive feature of Kurgan’s work in addressing these issues, though, is that it rejects the proposition that scholars can or should simply evaluate and respond to these at a ‘critical distance’: “[W]e do not stand at a distance from these technologies, but are addressed by and embedded within them”, Kurgan argues. Hence, “Only through a certain intimacy with these technologies—an encounter with their opacities, their assumptions, their intended aims—can we begin to assess their full ethical and political stakes” (page 14)."

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