Louisville Kentucky: City, Google Fiber reach agreement providing for restoration of infrastructure affected by Google Fiber construction. “Google Fiber will pay $3.84 million to Louisville Metro Government (LMG) to restore roads and other public rights-of-way affected by its departing service in Louisville. Louisville Metro Government and Google Fiber agreed to these payments to fulfill the company’s obligations under its franchise agreement and local regulations, which require restoration of rights-of-way should a service provider end service in Louisville. Citing technical challenges, Google Fiber announced its exit from Louisville in February.”
Curbed Chicago: Chicago first city to publish data on ride-hailing trips, drivers, and vehicles. “Ride-hailing apps have changed the way cities work and now Chicago is allowing the public to take a closer look at those effects. The published datasets include information about Uber, Lyft and Via trips—even listing how much drivers were tipped.”
The Island Connection: Town Of Kiawah Island Releases Grow Native Plant Database. “The database was designed to help promote the use of native plants on the island and serve as a resource for residents, landscapers, landscape architects, landscape designers, and other entities. This searchable database includes native trees, shrubs, perennials, vines, ferns, and grasses and allows users to filter and find plants based on a variety of criteria, including plant type, size, light requirements, soil requirements, flower color, salt tolerance, deer resistance, and more. There are currently 196 plants in the database, but the list will be expanded over time.” I know this is just for one city, but what an unbelievable project and great way to get residents to assist in addressing ecosystem conservation and development.
Fort Worth Texas: How cities (like Fort Worth) can use Google Street View to measure change. “A new effort to track street-level changes in cities is using a widely available tool to gather information: Google Street View. Taking the time to view online maps and click on specific areas or blocks to trigger 360-degree views — and then compare those views to snapshots taken in previous years — can teach a lot about year-over-year changes to a street, without requiring the user to actually visit in person. This effort was showcased at a SXSW 2019 session in Austin featuring the coauthor of a major study on the subject, as well as Fort Worth City Councilmember Ann Zadeh, who represents District 9. She is putting these ideas into action at the local level.”
Billy Penn: Philadelphia just published its $4 billion checkbook for all to see. “Remember the ‘missing $33 million’ that had Philly taxpayers up in arms last year? And how the figure then dropped to $23 million, then $2 million, until all but $528,000 was accounted for as of January? Next time that happens, you should be able to do some of the math yourself.”
Daily Collegian: Lawsuit: Chicago police falsely ID thousands as gang members. ” Civil rights groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging that the Chicago Police Department relies on an error-plagued database that names up to 195,000 people as gang members, including many who have never been in a gang…. Those listed as gang members have a harder time landing jobs, are more likely to be denied bond after arrests and are often targets of harassment by police or immigration officers, it contends.”
Municipalities and local governments, don’t get too comfy about using Google products. Case in point from the New Zealand Herald: Metlink upset over Google Maps price hike of $29,000 a month . “Wellington’s Metlink says a $29,000-a-month price increase for its use of Google Maps is unfair and it was not given enough notice of the change. The public transport provider was told yesterday that its monthly bill will increase from $1000 to $30,000, coming into effect in mid-July.”