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…It’s Website Wednesday: The Places We Live?

The Places We Live

The Places We Live is a fascinating look at some of the poorest slums on earth.

It’s the work of Jonas Bendiksen, who traveled to Caracas, Venezuela; Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya; Dharavi, Mumbai, India; and Jakarta, Indonesia from 2005 to 2007, documenting life in these slums, and capturing images of the diversity of personal histories and outlooks found in these dense neighborhoods that, despite commonly held assumptions, are not simply places of poverty and misery.

Yet slum residents continuously face enormous challenges such as the lack of health care, sanitation, and electricity.

The site does really well at simulating the experience of living in the slums, and you can listen to a narration of numerous different stories told by the people who lived them as you examine their home and listen to the sounds of the slums all around you.

In addition to the website, Jonas has also published a book that includes 20 double-gatefold images, each representing an individual home and its denizens’ stories.

[The Places We Live]

[Via: Kottke]

…Papervision brings a virtual creature to life?

Papervision

This “Papervision” creature is quite possibly the most amazing thing I’ve seen in a long time. I kid you not that when I first got it to work, I felt like I was playing around in the future.

To get your own, just visit this page and download and print the required symbol. Then, point your webcam at the symbol and watch the creature spring to life.

It works in real time, so you can move either the camera or the symbol all around and the creature will react accordingly, and it’s even aware of depth, so you can move the symbol close to or away from the camera, and the creature will grow or shrink as if it was a real object.

Amazing!

[Boffswana – Papervision]

…Flickr is mapping the world?

Flickr Alpha Map

Flickr has collected almost ninety million geotagged photos, and for every geotagged photo they have up to six Where On Earth IDs, which are unique numeric identifiers that correspond to the hierarchy of places where a photo was take: the neighborhood, the town, the country, and so on up to the continent in a process called reverse-geocoding.

Eventually they got to thinking: If they plotted all of the geotagged photos associated with a particular WOE ID, would there be enough data to generate a mostly accurate contour of that place?

Apparently the answer is yes, and though it’s not a perfect representation of the place, it’s definitely getting pretty close.

As a gift to the Flickr community, they’ve even made these 150,000 (and counting) WOE IDs with proper (-ish) shape data available via the Flickr API.

It might be a fun toy right now, but give it a few years and add in all of the data from geocoded cell phone photos, and this just might be the future of cartography as we know it.

[Flickr Code – The Shape Of Alpha]

…It’s Movie Monday: Trouble in Boro Olympus?

Trouble in Boro Olympus is a short form TV pilot for The Triboro, an episodic one hour dramatic series about a group of youth in The Triboro (Olympus, Black Mountain & White Valley) that join forces and stand up to the ring of corruption that has taken control of their towns. It’s a suspenseful, noir, epic, and doesn’t neglect all the teenage stuff that keeps things honest:

Are online pilots set to become the future of television?

With quality like this, I sure don’t see why not.

…Project 7 will change the world?

Project 7

Project 7 is ambitious: They want to heal the sick, save the Earth, house the homeless, feed the hungry, help those in need, build the future, and hope for peace.

The idea actually came out of the seven deadly sins. The thought was that “What if man in his selfishness instead of focusing on abstaining from the 7 sins worked to help those that were a consequence of one of these 7?”

For example: What if a “glutton” stopped focusing on himself, and started focusing on helping those that were starving.

The company’s goal is to bring to market everyday products— the first of which is bottled water—that consumers can easily purchase in order to effect change across the seven areas of critical need.

The goal is to make it an easy change for consumers, as the products look and taste the same as their non-Project-7 counterparts, but more than 50 percent of the profits go towards a community piggy-bank.

Throughout the year, nonprofits that benefit on of the seven causes can apply to be the recipient of that piggy-bank, and Project 7 will select three finalists for each. Then, they invite the consumers to vote online for the organization within each area that will receive the proceeds collected throughout the year.

To help get things started, Project 7 has even committed to donating $15,000 to nonprofits supporting each of the seven areas of critical need, totaling a minimum donation of $105,000 in 2009.

Project 7 uses Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles that are 100 percent recyclable, and will even package those bottles in boxes made from 100 percent recyclable material and printed with soy inks.

Is this the future of consumer-based activism?

Time will tell, but it sure looks like it’s off to a good start!

[Project 7]

[Via: Josh Spear]