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The Power of Maps, Past and Present

  • By
  • James Fallows,
  • New America Foundation
July 7, 2014 |
One of our partners in our American Futures project, along with Marketplace radio, is the Esri mapping/geographic-info company of Redlands, California. Here are two interactive maps Esri has recently produced that I think are potential time-sinks of the instructive rather than of the "you'll hate yourself when you spend half an hour this way" variety.

On Accountability and Audience: Why We Didn't Have a Funk Parade Hackathon

June 27, 2014

Crafting high-quality civic technology — projects and tools designed with social impact in mind — requires thought, creativity, and intentionality — the strength to ask:

“Will this project actually have social impact? Is it being designed for the social/cultural/political context in which it will be implemented? And if not, what steps do we need to take and what people do we need to substantially involve to get there?”

Our approach to community-building in the name of civic tech should be the same.

So You Think You Want to Run a Hackathon? Think Again. (A Case Study on #CivicTech Events)

June 23, 2014

This article is an excerpt from a longer piece originally posted on Medium. Click here for the full story.


“Hackathons.” That’s one of the most popular answers to a question you haven’t asked yet: How do you organize your local tech community to do X/attend Y/engage with Z?

The Emerging Power of Big Data

  • By Emerging Leaders, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs
June 17, 2014
Big data is transforming the commercial marketplace but it also has the potential to reshape government affairs and urban development.  In a new report from the Emerging Leaders Program at the Chicago Council of Global Affairs, Lincoln S. Ellis, a founding member of the World Economic Roundtable, and other authors from the Emerging Leaders Program, explore how big data can be used by mega-cities to meet the challenges they face in an age of resource constraints to improve the lives of their residents.

Brief: Methodology for Identifying and Addressing Urban Areas with Low Broadband Adoption

  • By
  • Greta Byrum,
  • Joshua Breitbart,
  • Georgia Bullen,
  • New America Foundation
March 13, 2014
This brief describes the different phases of research to prepare for planning and managing broadband interventions at various scales. Using this guide, researchers can compile geospatial broadband profiles including environmental and demographic data, local community assets, and available technical infrastructure.

Call for Paper Proposals

July 2, 2013

Call for Paper Proposals

The Role of Advocacy in Media and Telecom Policy

A by-invitation experts’ workshop
New America Foundation
Sept. 29 - Oct. 1, 2013

Development as Freedom: The World Bank’s how-to series “Amplifying Citizen Voices through Technology” (PART 2 OF 2)

June 27, 2012

The evaluation framework we commented on in a recent blog post is only one part of the World Bank’s series of handbooks on rethinking approaches to the use of information and communication technologies for development [ICTD].

Mapping the Potential for Wealth Creation through Cash Transfers, Part II

March 21, 2012

NAF's Global Savings and Social Protection initiative is excited to release its second heat-mapping of different countries' potential to implement savings-linked social protection programs. NAF has identified 51 countries around the world that have social safety net/public benefit programs that involve cash transfers. Last week we looked at the financial infrastructure in countries with cash-transfer social protection programs - including Commercial Banks, Microfinance Institutions, ATMs and Point of Service terminals - in order to get a first glimpse of these countries’ potential to implement savings-linked social protection programs.

M-Lab Tool, Shaperprobe, Reveals Traffic Shaping Among Major ISPs

June 9, 2011

Developed by Georgia Institute of Technology researchers Partha Kanuparthy and Constantine Dovrolis, a new measurement program called ShaperProbe is the first of its kind to detect traffic shaping over end user connections to the Internet.

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