Where form follows data.
December 15, 2014 9:42 AM   Subscribe

Hopefully this isn't used to manage only what's measured.

The "Transport" dashboard is missing the most important way of getting around the city, the most widely-used with 38% mode share.

It's not a big deal that there's no data, because it's always on time, doesn't get congested, and never uses up all the parking.
posted by anthill at 10:26 AM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, leuk.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:55 AM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Where form follows data

It seems remarkable that all the data just happen to be in simple horizontal charts, even ones that make no sense to be displayed in this form, like population density appearing as a donut chart and a spiral of unordered dots, and where all things are of the same priority, whether 35,000 public transport trips or four tweets about politics.

While I like having important (and other) urban information at your fingertips, and while some services can and should have ongoing management, one thing that concerns me with the dashboardization of this sort of information is that we've already seen what a focus on short time horizons has done to the stock market; made corporate management concerned only with what happens the next quarter. Amsterdam's been around by that name since 1275; I don't know if citizens are served by focusing on today's parking occupancy or political tweets, with no ability to even see yesterday's, much less the years and decades that are really needed.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:01 AM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

the most widely-used [mode of transport] ... never uses up all the parking.

I don't see many empty racks here. Cycle parking's a cheap resource to provide, but not free.
posted by ambrosen at 11:05 AM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

It's possible there is more space needed to park bikes in amsterdam than there is for cars. (250,000 bike parking spots vs 80,00 car parking spots)
posted by el io at 11:26 AM on December 15, 2014

In fact, bike parking is a hot issue in Amsterdam right now, as there are far too few legal parking spaces for the amount of bikers that need to use e.g. Centraal Station, which means lots of illegally parked bikes, quite a few of which are cut loose by the council and banished to the huge biking depots on the outskirts of town, where you can get them back after paying a fine.

Amsterdam is the city with the highest number of bikes repossesed like this and it pisses a lot of people off because this problem has been around for years, not helped by the continuing rerenovation (bierenco verherbouwing) of CS.

(I'm lucky: if I take the bike to CS I park it on the other side of the IJ, preferably in the fancy smancy underground autoparking)
posted by MartinWisse at 11:27 AM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

Fair enough - then exclusively measuring a "car parking spots" metric on this city dashboard is even more misleading.
posted by anthill at 11:45 AM on December 15, 2014

I know some of the people behind this, so I've known about the project for a while. The most interesting thing isn't the visualisation, but the data and API behind it. The idea is to create an openly-accessible data store of city information that local governments and other parties can contribute to, and a uniform API that can be used to provide services.

It's been under development for the past couple of years, so it's nice to see it get some visibility.
posted by daveje at 3:32 PM on December 15, 2014

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