NACTO’s awesome new Urban Street Design Guide is now online

Today, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) unveiled the Urban Street Design Guide, a new design manual for city streets. A blueprint for the 21st century streetscape, the Urban Street Design Guide demonstrates how streets of every size can be reimagined and reoriented as safe, sustainable public spaces for people walking, driving, biking, and taking transit. […]

Behind BART’s crowding level icons

BART crowding icon designs

About a month ago, we set out to design BART‘s new icons representing crowding on trains. The constraints were tight: icons could be no more than 16 x 22 pixels in order to fit’s current trip planner, and ideally the icons would be easily understood without a legend. Initially, there were four levels of crowding […]

Real time transit displays in Chicago, London, Barcelona and Stockholm

Real-time display in Barcelona on the Girona platform

Have you ever wondered how other cities visualize real-time transit data? Here are some photos of real-time displays I spotted in Chicago, London, Barcelona, and Stockholm during the last couple of months while traveling. Disclaimer: We are pretty big fans of real-time displays here at BlinkTag and have one powered by a Raspberry Pi. Even though […] makes it into the New York Times


BlinkTag client Solo Kota Kita got a nice mention in today’s New York Times article about flooding and city planning in Indonesia. “Jakarta is crazy,” said Ahmad Rifai, executive director of Solo Kota Kita, an organization in Surakarta that encourages residents to interact with local officials on city planning. “We need more than just one […]

Celebrating BART’s 40th anniversary of service

BART logo from 1958, via Eric Fischer (walkingsf) on Flickr

Forty years ago in 1972, BART trains started running for the first time. To mark the transit agency’s 40th anniversary of providing service to the Bay Area, we collected some of our favorite images commemorating the milestone, courtesy of BART. BART employees from the 70s:   Okay, that’s all old and good, but what’s new? Expect speedier […]

Social Design Field Guide for Surakarta, Indonesia on Kickstarter

Firm Foundation - Banjarmasin, Indonesia

  How often do you see a city planning project on Kickstarter? One of our projects, Solo Kota Kita, is, and needs your help! Donations go towards developing a social design field guide for areas where participation in urban design is new. We’re more than halfway there, with just $3,680 to go. Have a rock named after you for […]

Is your transit agency’s system map on GitHub?

Open source / Creative commons licensed BART system map (color)

Today, we put an open source BART system map on GitHub for developers to use in apps. Now, you can make the BART map of your dreams, whether that means changing the Bay Area base map to an 8-bit version (awesome), turning the station icons into gumdrops (yum!), or changing the font to Papyrus (tears […]

Ziftbot wins Zappos API Hackathon!


Mid-December of last year, the Zappos API Team announced a gifting-themed Hackathon contest. Developers were challenged to build anything using the Zappos API to compete for Best Overall Application, Most Fun and Weird Application, and Best Mash-up Application (integrating other APIs or apps). Entries were judged and voted on by Zappos Employees – including Zappos […]

What it’s like to be an MIT extern at BlinkTag

Michelle in a ball pit on a Google visit

For the last month, we’ve been holding MIT undergrad Michelle Wang hostage as part of MIT’s 2012 Student/Alumni Externship Program. Now that she’s safe at home in Boston and free to speak, we thought we’d publish her thoughts on what it’s like to be an MIT extern at BlinkTag’s office in San Francisco. Thanks for […]

SoloKotaKita featured on Polis blog

polis_ Tools for Participatory Budgeting in Indonesia

Solo Kota Kita continues to get attention – this time on the Polis Blog. BlinkTag built the website and online maps for the Sola Kota Kita project. Solo Kota Kita on Polis Blog – February, 6 2012

Solo Kota Kita in Metropolis Magazine

Solo Kota Kita logo

Solo Kota Kita, a website BlinkTag built and launched earlier this year, was recently mentioned in the November 2011 issue of Metropolis Magazine, a monthly architecture and design publication with a circulation of about 60,000. In an article called Collaborations Welcome, Michael Haggerty, one of Solo Kota Kita’s project directors, is mentioned alongside SKK. Check […]

BlinkTag’s Las Vegas Vacation (Startup Weekend Las Vegas)


Over the weekend of June 24th, Trucy, Jed and I all attended Startup Weekend Las Vegas. Startup Weekend takes place in cities around the world; it’s a 54-hour event that brings together “developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts” to share startup ideas, form teams and create startups. Some of our favorite companies were […]

Google Transit Layer through Google Maps API

Google Maps

This is a followup to a post we did a while back that showed how to add the Google Transit and Google Bike layer to a google map using the Google Maps API. We’ve updated this with code based on Google Maps Javascript API version 3. Google Maps API v3 now allows you to add […]

Storify officially launches today

Using Storify for 511 Contra Costa's weekly headlines

Congratulations to Storify, who officially launched today! As of this morning, the Storify public beta became open to the public, allowing anyone to create an account. What’s Storify? Using a drag and drop method, journalists and writers can quickly collect and filter social media streams to create a story. Storify allows users to curate and […] generates walking tours of San Francisco on the fly


As part of the Google IO Last Call contest I created Its a mobile app that will create an on-the-fly walking tour of San Francisco with up to 8 stops based on points of interest that I specified. It ended up working pretty well and won me a ticket to Google IO. I think […]