A new hyperlocal blog for Gabalfa, Cardiff

Gabalfa blog This week I created a new Cardiff hyperlocal blog for the Maendy, ‘Lower Heath’, western-edge-of-Cathays area known to the council as the ward of Gabalfa.

It’s a funny area to cover. Wikipedia says Gabalfa “is characterised by an enormous fly over road at the Gabalfa Interchange, where the A48 road meets the A470 road (North Road) which leads from Cardiff to northern Wales, and the A469 road (Caerphilly Road)”, which about sums the area up.

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Election 2012: Gabalfa, Cardiff

I’m not really very political, but I thought it would be interesting to get a bit hyperlocal and see how much of a web presence my local wannabe counsellors have. (The actual hyperlocal blog for my area — heathlands.us — seems more interested in organising a street party and setting up a pirate radio station…)

Peter Law writing in WalesOnline says about the Gabalfa lineup:

A difficult ward to call. Lib Dem incumbent Ed Bridges is well regarded and increased his share of the vote four years ago. Labour has a lot of ground to make-up, but may well snatch one of the two seats up for grabs.

Based on their engagement online, these are indeed the only two parties who seem to have any interest in this little ward. Continue reading

WordPress Users Wales meet-up: Wednesday 29th February

WordPress heart logo The second WordPress Users Wales meet-up is on Wednesday 29th February at The Promised Land, from 6.30pm. As before, register with Eventbrite.

Apparently this is a traditional date for women to make marriage proposals, so there is the potential for the night to take an unexpected turn!

Joel Hughes will be talking about the ‘Developer as Blogger’ and Nicky Getgood ‘WordPress for Hyperlocal’ and her work at Talk About Local. Continue reading

The Bold Italic: Covering local stories, venues and events with style

The Bold Italic is not about typography. It’s not a news site either, but it feels like one – albeit a very trendy news site. In fact, it’s about ‘local discovery’ – trendy San Francisco types write about their local obsessions. Venues, merchants and events are also covered. From the about page:

Just when you thought you were a pretty savvy local, along came The Bold Italic. Our mission is to help people become better locals, equipping our members with rare local intel, backstory and potential adventures.

Our writers, the Bold Locals, find their way behind-the-scenes in San Francisco and come back with backstories of distinctive, offbeat local experiences.

A San Franciscan, such as yourself, can keep pieces of these backstories — a particular merchant, landmark, or product — in the Clipbook. That’s the tab on the left with shapes on it.

It’s a hugely appealing site. Anyone considering a local web project should study it closely.

Boundaries – a tool to visualise the shape of neighbourhoods

Boundaries - a tool to visualise the shape of neighbourhoods

Boundaries uses Flickr geotagging data to draw local area boundaries on a map. It’s creator, Tom Taylor, says:

Flickr understands that places are more than unique geographic identifiers; that they are mental models people use to identify with location. Moreover, they are fluid and opinionated, varying based on a number of parameters such as context, ambition and personal background. In true wisdom of the crowds style, Flickr use the combined selections of their thousands of photographers to compute the shape of these places.

I think it’s a wonderful idea. Tom has several other fun projects, including the Flickr game Noticings, and a handy micro-printer you could use for to-do lists or hyperlocal news print outs. He also has a talk up on http://www.dolectures.com/ where he explores more ideas.

Cardiff regions on Boundaries.

Mapumental

I watched a fascinating presentation on mapping technologies and their use in the BBC yesterday. The highlight for me was an amazing video showing all the Open Street Map edits made in 2008. The Channel 4 / MySociety / Stamen project, Mapumental was also demonstrated (well, just the Mapumental YouTube video actually).

It’s a really useful tool. Here I’m showing a few Cardiff examples.

Mapumental — Cardiff

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