Archinect - News 2015-11-28T00:53:19-05:00 Is Waze to blame for heavy traffic on L.A. residential side streets? Justine Testado 2015-11-24T15:00:00-05:00 >2015-11-24T18:01:53-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="353" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Waze sometimes sends drivers through little-used side streets such as Cody Road [in Sherman Oaks, Calif]...Some people try to beat Waze at its own game by sending misinformation about traffic jams and accidents so it will steer commuters elsewhere. Others log in and leave their devices in their cars, hoping Waze will interpret that as a traffic standstill and suggest alternate routes.</p></em><br /><br /><p>More about Waze on Archinect:</p><p><a title='Throwback Throughway: when GPS fails, these gorgeous "mental maps" help you navigate' href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Throwback Throughway: when GPS fails, these gorgeous "mental maps" help you navigate</a></p><p><a title="Waze takes on the ride-sharing market with new carpooling app" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Waze takes on the ride-sharing market with new carpooling app</a></p><p><a title="Arnold Schwarzenegger voices Waze app" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Arnold Schwarzenegger voices Waze app</a></p><p><a title="Waze and its new uneasy bedfellows" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Waze and its new uneasy bedfellows</a></p> Throwback Throughway: when GPS fails, these gorgeous "mental maps" help you navigate Julia Ingalls 2015-11-12T19:21:00-05:00 >2015-11-18T00:40:18-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>A set of maps from designer Archie Archambault might help us rebuild the mental maps of cities that we're starting to lose. Instead of a literal grid of streets, he maps out neighborhoods and the basic parts of a city the way someone who lives there might think of it, or at least the way they probably did before Google Maps existed.</p></em><br /><br /><p>How did people live&mdash;or at least find their way to all of the events, parties, and work-related meetings&mdash;before they had smartphones and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">GPS</a>? You could ask a friend, just as Archie Archambault did when he first visited <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Portland</a> and didn't know his way around. Since then, he has started drawing circular "mental maps" of cities, based on the recollections of each urbanity's denizens.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Similar to the simplified subway line maps that help commuters get from one transit stop to another by omitting unnecessary details, these mental maps render cities in terms of big-picture human landmarks. He's mapped cities from Amsterdam to Kyoto to Vancouver, B.C. (and, just in case you find yourself up there without a good WiFi connection, the Moon).</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p> The "algorithmic dreams" of driverless cars, and how they might affect real-world urban design Justine Testado 2015-11-12T15:43:00-05:00 >2015-11-18T17:11:56-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The sensory limitations of these vehicles must be accounted for, Nourbakhsh explained, especially in an urban world filled with complex architectural forms, reflective surfaces, unpredictable weather and temporary construction sites. This means that cities may have to be redesigned, or may simply mutate over time, to accommodate a car&rsquo;s peculiar way of experiencing the built environment...</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>"...The flip side of this example is that, in these brief moments of misinterpretation, a different version of the urban world exists...If we can learn from human misperception, perhaps we can also learn something from the delusions and hallucinations of sensing machines. But what?"</em></p><p>As self-driving cars gradually integrate themselves into urban society, Geoff Manaugh of BLDGBLOG spotlights emerging lidar (light + radar) scanning technologies that the cars use to navigate. He weighs the possible advantages and risks that these technologies &mdash; which still have their vulnerabilities &mdash; can pose on the built environment.</p><p>More recent news about driverless cars on Archinect:</p><p><a title="Tokyo's 2020 Olympics won't have Zaha, but it's looking like there will be &quot;Robot Taxi&quot;" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Tokyo's 2020 Olympics won't have Zaha, but it's looking like there will be "Robot Taxi"</a></p><p><a title="Dawn of the self-driving car: testing out Tesla's autopilot function" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Dawn of the self-driving car: testing out Tesla's autopilot function</a></p><p><a title="Milton Keynes invests in driverless cars over public transit infrastructure" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Milton Keynes invests in driverless cars over public transit infrastructure</a></p><p><a title="Can a loss of driver autonomy save lives?" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Can a loss of driver autonomy save lives?</a></p> Chris Downey on designing inclusive "multisensory" environments for the visually impaired Justine Testado 2015-07-06T18:40:00-04:00 >2015-07-11T21:08:01-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="280" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Many people view GPS and similar emerging interior-wayfnding technologies as a way to 'solve the blind wayfnding challenge.'...Architects still need to be better multisensory placemakers to design and create effective environments for the blind and visually impaired.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Chris Downey, whose story as a blind practicing architect was recently documented in the AIA's <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">"Look Up" campaign</a> this past May, dishes in on his own experiences with embossing printers, wayfinding devices, and graphic input tools, and other emerging technologies that have the potential to vastly improve how architects&nbsp;&mdash; both visually impaired or not&nbsp;&mdash; will work. However, he also warns about relying too much on those technologies and that architects must uphold the responsibility of designing effective environments that are accessible to everyone of all abilities.</p><p>Previously:</p><p><a title='AIA launches second video in "Look Up" campaign featuring a blind architect' href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">AIA launches second video in "Look Up" campaign featuring a blind architect</a></p> Arnold Schwarzenegger voices Waze app Nicholas Korody 2015-06-16T16:15:00-04:00 >2015-06-17T09:12:25-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Starting Monday, drivers around the world could soon be directed by a familiar Austrian-accented voice telling them: "I'm a Terminator Cyberdyne Systems Model 101, and you're coming with me." It's Arnold Schwarzenegger, the actor and former California governor, who is lending his persona as the famed Terminator from the movie franchise to the community-based traffic and navigation app Waze.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Further strides made in Nobel-winning research on the neuroscience of navigation Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-04-30T14:57:00-04:00 >2015-05-04T22:14:18-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="277" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Place cells, which fire when the brain recognizes a corresponding geographical landmark (like your house, or the Space Needle) [offer] a two-dimensional map of familiar environments [...] Grid cells ... are not tied to particular places &mdash; but are adjusted as needed to mark off the space around us [...] Now, researchers from University College London have shown how grid cells help us combine mental maps, joining rooms into a house, blocks into a neighborhood and neighborhoods into a city.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Some background on the Nobel Prize-winning medical research can be found here:&nbsp;<a title="Nobel Prize in Medicine Is Awarded to Three Who Discovered Brain&rsquo;s &lsquo;Inner GPS&rsquo;" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Nobel Prize in Medicine Is Awarded to Three Who Discovered Brain&rsquo;s &lsquo;Inner GPS&rsquo;</a></p> Nobel Prize in Medicine Is Awarded to Three Who Discovered Brain’s ‘Inner GPS’ Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2014-10-07T13:15:00-04:00 >2014-10-16T00:03:34-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="308" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The three scientists&rsquo; discoveries &ldquo;have solved a problem that has occupied philosophers and scientists for centuries &mdash; how does the brain create a map of the space surrounding us and how can we navigate our way through a complex environment?&rdquo; said the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, which chooses the laureates. The positioning system they discovered helps us know where we are, find our way from place to place and store the information for the next time</p></em><br /><br /><p>Back in 1971, John O'Keefe identified "place cells" in the brain &ndash; neurons that were selectively activated in relation to the subject's place in an environment. He concluded these nerves were composing a mental map of the space, and the collection of multiple place cells constituted a spatial memory of the environment.</p><p>Then in 2005, May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser identified another group of nerve cells, the so-called "grid cells", that create a coordinate system in the brain. Together, place cells and grid cells create a precise understanding of space in the brain, allowing for navigation and spatial memory.</p> Labeling the city: Ghana's initiative to name its streets Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2014-02-11T15:14:00-05:00 >2014-02-17T17:52:20-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="286" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>In a city with no addresses, it&rsquo;s difficult for local authorities to tax property. And without tax revenues, it&rsquo;s difficult to upgrade infrastructure and services in the slums [...] To fix these problems, Ghana is on a national quest to name its city streets. [...] Giving names to streets is only a means to an end. The real problem cities are trying to solve is service delivery. When properties have actual addresses and those addresses reside in databases, all kinds of things become possible.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Macy's introduces indoor GPS navigation Paul Petrunia 2012-11-08T11:28:00-05:00 >2012-11-13T12:20:20-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="321" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Macy&rsquo;s has added a new feature to its iPhone app that provides indoor turn-by-turn directions for its massive flagship location in New York City&rsquo;s Herald Square, courtesy of Meridian, the software startup behind an indoor GPS platform.</p></em><br /><br /><p> Is indoor GPS navigation the new wayfinding?</p> <p> <em>Since launching last year, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Meridian</a> has worked with a handful of prominent institutions to build indoor mapping systems from the ground up, including the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Venetian hotel and casino in Las Vegas. The service uses a unique combination of GPS and WiFi data to pinpoint the precise location of the smartphone user indoors. By opening up its SDK to developers, Meridian should see plenty more locations incorporate this technology.</em></p>