Friday, March 28, 2008

New Map: National Pollution Emissions from the EPA

We've got a new map up that shows 22,880 pollution sources across the entire United States from the EPA, collected in 2006, the most recent year available, and the total amount of pounds of pollution emitted.

It's got a few new features going on, like auto-location based on your IP address, and our normal blue radius circle has been removed even though you still see the points closest to your address.

The data comes from their Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) that contains information on toxic chemical releases and waste management activities reported annually by certain industries as well as federal facilities.

Let us know what you think in the comments, and thanks to Amanda M for the suggestion!

Thanks to Forge Louisville

A big thank you to Forge Louisville and the local startup community for supporting Metro Mapper in the NetSquared contest.

Matt Winn and Michelle Jones have been terrific with their efforts.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

UPDATE: You Did It - Your Mapper is a N2Y3 Featured Project

To the people that use Metro Mapper and those who voted for the Your Mapper project in the NetSquared mashup contest:

You Did It - Thank You!

Thanks to your votes we were in the top 21 projects out of the 122 that were submitted.

NetSquared announced the winners today at noon EST in their N2Y3 contest, although the number of votes that each project received has not been revealed. This means that the expansion of Metro Mapper is going to happen.

Alphabetical List of Top Projects

We'll keep you posted on further developments. We'll be heading to San Jose for the conference May 27-28 to present our ideas in more detail. That's when funding and resources will be determined. From the site's FAQ:

Q: What kind of support will I get for my Project?
The NetSquared Team is busy recruiting Business Analysts, Product Managers, Business Mentors and Engineers to help Mashup Projects build a team that is capable of bringing your Mashup vision/concept/specification to life.
Thanks again to everyone cared enough and took the time to vote. We owe you a drink.

Post a comment below if you voted for us, with a link to your site or blog. We want to make sure you get some credit!

UPDATE: They just updated their blog with some more information:

The Featured Projects will be invited to attend this year’s NetSquared Conference (N2Y3) on May 27 and 28 (just after Memorial Day). The Conference will be held at Cisco Systems' Vineyard Conference Center in San Jose, California. Cisco Systems has been our generous host for the previous two NetSquared Conferences.

At the Conference, Project Teams will have an opportunity to display and discuss their mashups, and attendees will vote to select the top three. All 21 Projects at the conference will receive a share of $100,000 in prize money. The share will be determined by voting at the Conference.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Courier-Journal Points to Metro Mapper in Contest

Thanks to Charlie White at the Courier-Journal for mentioning the NetSquared contest in his Business People column, and for pointing people to the Metro Mapper voting ballot. A few people have mentioned they saw it in the Courier this past Saturday.



Final Day to Vote for Metro Mapper

Today is the final day of voting for Metro Mapper in the NetSquared contest (voting was extended through today). All votes must be submitted by 5pm, and if you haven't voted yet, please do so now.

I really appreciate the support I've gotten from you and other Louisville organizations, like Forge and With your help, I feel very confident about ranking in the top 20!

1. Learn more and vote now:

2. Forward this link to your friends and colleagues.

NetSquared is going to announce the winners on Thursday, so I'll keep you posted.

Thanks so much!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Voting Support:, Forge Louisville, Consuming Louisville

I'd like to give thanks for some local websites that are covering my entry in the NetSquared mashup contest. Tomorrow is the last day to vote.

Thanks to, Louisville Magazine, and publisher Dan Crutcher for running an article liked to from their homepage.

Forge Louisville

Thanks to Forge Louisville for keeping people voting in the contest, Michelle Jones for doing a writeup, and Matt Winn for starting the terrific Forge organization.

Consuming Louisville

Thanks again to Michelle Jones at Consuming Louisville for alerting her readers to the mashup contest.

Friday, March 21, 2008

NetSquared Voting Extended Three Days

NetSquared has extended the voting deadline for all projects by three days, which means you can vote today, Friday March 21 through Monday March 24!

We can't do it without you, and we think the community can help us out and spread the word. It should take you about 5 minutes to help us out.

More Information:

Our 'Your Mapper' Project Page:

Four Things You Can Do

1. Cast your own Vote!

2. Send out an email to your friends and family with a link to our more information page.

3. Mention the the contest on your own site or blog

4. Promote the contest on your site or blog with one of our badges

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Vote for Metro Mapper in Final Round of NetSquared Competition

Metro Mapper made it to the final round of voting this week thanks to you! Last week, we ranked fifth out of 122 projects in "star" votes. If we can rank in the top 20 in votes this week, we are guaranteed a trip to San Jose to present our idea, and some human and financial resources.

We Need Your Help!

Visit the site, add us to your ballot, and cast your vote. We can't do it without you, and we think the community can help us out and spread the word.

More Information:

Our 'Your Mapper' Project Page:

Four Things You Can Do

1. Cast your own Vote!

2. Send out an email to your friends and family with a link to our more information page.

3. Mention the the contest on your own site or blog

4. Promote the contest with one of our badges

Metro Mapper is looking to the community of Louisville and Kentucky, and to users of the site, to vote in this final round. Ranking in the contest would help Metro Mapper expand its services and launch a new, improved project called Your Mapper, which would allow community contributions and national coverage. Thanks a lot!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

UPDATED: Metro Mapper Needs Your Help: Vote for Us!

Metro Mapper is trying to evolve into Your Mapper and needs your help to make it happen!

We are participating in a contest by Net Squared with the goal of "remixing the web for social change." The contest provides funding and resources for innovative projects that foster social change and empower individuals.

View all the information right on our site.

We just discovered a *bug* in the site. If you are using Internet Explorer 7, and login to try to vote or "star" our project, you can't!

The [+] voting icon is not visible! So some of you are not crazy...

Until this is resolved with the site owners, see if you can use another alternate browser, like Firefox on a PC or Safari on a Mac, or Opera.

Firefox Browser Download

Thanks again and vote today, Friday, by 5pm if you can! It's the last day of the first round.

Metro Mapper needs your help now!

First, do this by Friday, March 14, 2008

  1. Register for an account right now.

  2. Wait for a confirmation email from Net Squared, and click the link. Check your spam folders too.

  3. Visit our project and "Star" us by clicking the .

  4. If you want, add some comments after the article.

Next, the week of March 17-21, 2008, vote for us.

  1. Login to your account.

  2. Vote for the Your Mapper project. You can vote for four to nine other projects too.

On Monday, March 24, they will announce the top 20 projects. If we are one of them, then we can proceed to the conference in San Jose to raise interest and get some funding and resources!

About the Project

Metro Mapper is a free service currently based in Louisville, KY. We have a set of tools that let us gather public information and put it on interactive maps, which you can see on our site.

But what we are missing is comminity contributions, data for other United States cities and rural areas, and the ability to show lots more information.

We want to become Your Mapper, a new site that has all of this and an empowered public. The Net Squared project would let us begin to do that. Read all about what we want to accomplish on our Project Page. Register now!

Public Transporation: Getting Governments to Participate

For Earth Day this year, Google Transit is pleading with local public transport agencies to integrate their route information with Google Maps. Louisville's local TARC bus system (Transit Authority of River City) has a lot of routes and services, but their current route interface is a bit cumbersome, and most people don't even know it exists.

This free service would open the route info up and place it into the international site for millions of people to see and use. All that is needed is for TARC to create a series of text files and place them on their website. Google then grabs them, and turns them into an interactive, visual version on their maps. The full instructions are just one page and not very complicated.

Actually, anyone can create these files using a tool similar to my sample TARC route system map. The issue is that the TARC has to contact Google directly about it, and host the files on

I wrote to TARC last year about doing this, but got no response. Does anyone have some good contacts at TARC that could see the benefit in this service?

So is anyone up to the challenge? A group of people could get together, split up the routes, and create the needed text files. I know there are lots of TARC fans out there, looking for an easier method to find routes and ride the bus!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Cities in 3D: Getting Government to Participate

Google has had this free service for a while now, but they are currently promoting it, trying to get lots of cities in 3D within Google Earth. It's really easy to do, and most cities likely have the data needed already.

How do you get your city to participate? Who do you need to contact? Is there anyone in your local government who knows how to get this accomplished?


Wouldn't it be wonderful to have your entire city in 3D? Right now in Louisville, Kentucky, there are about 10 structures (of sufficient quality) that people have uploaded to the global directory, including the Humana Building, Glassworks, Slugger Field, and even Museum Plaza.

Lexington has hundreds of buildings loaded of the downtown and UK campus, likely done by UK students. Couldn't UofL students do this too? Here is a view of UK's campus in Google Earth:

How This Benefits Your Local Government

Engaging the public in planning

  • Land use/zoning
  • Redevelopment
  • Historic preservation

Fostering economic development

  • New business recruitment
  • Business site location planning
  • Real estate development

Boosting tourism

  • Landmarks and attractions
  • Community event planning

Simplifying navigation and geographic analysis

Enhancing facilities management

Supporting security and crime prevention

Facilitating emergency management

Monday, March 03, 2008

Forge Louisville Interview

Those of you interested in learning more about the history and future of Metro Mapper, head over to Forge Louisville's interview. Michelle Jones (of Consuming Louisville fame) is a writer for Forge and asked me a few questions as part of series profiling local web startups. She asked some great questions and hopefully you'll find some of the answers interesting.

Thanks to Michelle and Forge for all the good work on this new veture.