Thursday, October 30, 2008

"LCG’s new high-tech Gadget"

Just-a-Note

The Independent blog has a post on Lafayette CIO Keith Thibodaux's latest tech toy: a google gadget that encapsulates the city's webcams and traffic alerts and puts them into a neat little app that sits on a web page--ideally your browser's default home page. But you can also drop the "gadget" (a simple html/javascript program that sucks up dyanmic data from rss feeds or other standard data sources) into any web page. Like so:




Pretty neat, eh? This sort of thing is a great example of what could be done if the community were given access to some standard data structures...take rss feeds, for example. If we could get access to the traffic alerts in the form of rss feeds it would be dead easy to hack together a little google gadget to display just the ones that interest you on your igoogle homepage or webpage or draw it into your smartphone. (By dead easy I mean I could hack together an ugly version...and if I could do that almost anyone at all technically oriented could.)

At any rate this gadget is a lot of fun and is handsomely designed. I look forward to the pothole identification gadget for the iPhone and other GPS-enabled smartphones that Keith promises. (How classic a local government problem is that? You gotta smile.)

3 comments:

monkeyboy said...

Nice. Google is great. I am loving my Tmobile G1 Google phone. This could easily be an app that you can load from the phone at any time. Hopefully Tmobile will roll out 3G service in Lafayette sometime next year. EDGE will have to do for right now.

Anonymous said...

This is slow. I have fiber to my office and The pictures are 2 to 3 seconds apart. I hope this is not on the LUS FIBER system.

John said...

Brave anono one,

Uh...I don't think you understand how these webcams work. They are not streaming video in the YouTube sense. Instead they are a series of stills spaced widely. Saves bandwidth. Pretty standard for webcams. (Watch that tendency to find fault with good things; it'll make you a grumpy old man. Trust me. :-))