BlinkTag makes technology easy for city and transportation planning professionals.
We are city planners, web developers, transportation engineers, graphic artists, social media managers, and interaction designers.
BlinkTag uniquely understands the structural barriers separating communities from public resources, as well as the challenges public agencies face in reducing those barriers, because many of our technical staff are also experienced city planners.
Read more about our projects.
BlinkTag operates by consensus as a collective. We foster skill-sharing between planners and technologists on our team and beyond.
Read more about our team.
BlinkTag adheres to the tenets of both user-centered design and agile development.
We listen to our clients. We strive to center our clients and their users, and do our best to understand their wants, needs, barriers, and opportunities. This allows us to deliver tools that will be easier to implement, use, and maintain.
We also prefer building technology through an iterative approach. We work with our clients to break up big problems into more approachable challenges, to be undertaken one at a time. We apply a range of listening exercises during discovery, including rapid prototyping, wireframes, mockups, and good old fashioned whiteboards. We thoughtfully design and build each iteration, and test thoroughly before sending it to the client for review. Only when the client is satisfied to we move on, ensuring that our deliverables satisfy both the client and their users.
We value usability and reusability, and because we work with many publicly-funded agencies, we prefer to see our work belong to the public through free/libre licenses.
See our work on GitHub.
Our clients have a variety of challenges and constraints, but share a desire for data-driven solutions and meaningful community engagement.
Project Tags and Thumbnails
We've designed dozens of banners for 511CC, each with an engaging hook to promote biking, walking, and transit.
Walk and Roll Palm Springs
This mobile website makes it easy to explore the City of Palm Springs by foot, bike, or bus.
511CC Social Media
BlinkTag keeps 511CC on the cutting edge of social media, and riders in the know.
Tahoe Bike Mapper
Turn-by-turn bike directions, filterable by hill tolerance and road type.
Street Smarts Diablo
Complete branding for four interconnected but distinct programs, first built in HTML/CSS then expanded to Wordpress.
Data Collection Through Drones
BlinkTag embedded with Digital Democracy and indigenous human rights defenders to support drone-based data collection in the Amazon.
Water Emergency Transport Authority
Database schema and requirements gathering for a new reporting dashboard.
Better projects start with better RFPs. BlinkTag offers scoping and RFP development as a separate service.
Whether it's for gathering requirements or developing long term strategy, BlinkTag brings facilitation best practices to the table.
BlinkTag helps our clients think through potential risks to their organizations and their users.
A drupal-powered website featuring BART-accessible events and activities, with a built in trip planner
BART Station Access
Mapping every parking facility and accessible pathway in the BART system.
511 Contra Costa Website
BlinkTag built and maintains 511ContraCosta's content-rich Wordpress site.
NACTO Urban Street Design Guide
BlinkTag created the web version of NACTO's beautifully illustrated and annotated Urban Street Design Guide.
This new Wordpress website decluttered site navigation and reduced maintenance hassle.
An open source project for creating user-friendly transit schedules from GTFS transit data
TripGenie is a seven-step visual guide that calculates trip generation rates based on place, density, zoning, transit, infrastructure and more.
Fórum Cazenga displays maps and data related to city planning and development in Luanda, Angola.
An automated service that posts BART service advisories to 73,000 followers on Twitter.
Design Your Transit System
A web-based survey system to measure user preferences and educate users on cost/benefit tradeoffs of transit improvements
Solo Kota Kita
Solo Kota Kita is developing mapping tools for neighborhood advocacy and citizen planning in Surakarta (Solo), Central Java, Indonesia.
An SMS survey system for tracking commuter mode choice
The County Connection
BlinkTag built a website and GTFS transit feed for this Contra Costa County bus system.
iSmog is an iOS application that displayed air quality forecasts for the Bay Area and notifies the user when the forecast is less than great.
Guaranteed Ride Home System
BlinkTag helped 511 Contra Costa move their paper-based Guaranteed Ride Home program into a mobile-friendly web application.
Mobile friendly bike maps with customized parameters built on open data.
AMPLab is a UC Berkeley research group focusing on Big Data analytics. The site facilitates sharing publications and research.
DrawerSpeaks is an extension of the Floodwall project, an art installation made of 710 drawers salvaged from post-Katrina debris in New Orleans.
Free and Open Tools
We use free and open software, and strive to make it easier for others to do the same.
San Francisco Unified School District
BlinkTag built a customized application system to increase community access to San Francisco's school facilities.
BART Realtime Displays
Open source visualizations of BART realtime arrivals and locations.
Solo Kota Kita SMS
An SMS data collection system for neighborhood advocacy and citizen planning in Surakarta (Solo), Central Java, Indonesia
San Francisco Bay View
The San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper is the most widely-read source of cultural news for African-Americans in the Bay Area.
A site organizing hundreds of documents, case studies, and publications covering best practices for creating affordable housing.
BlinkTag was created in 2007 by people who believe that planners should be able to build their own tools. As professionals, we refused to pick planning or technology over the other, and have created a collective of experienced practitioners that embrace collaboration, consensus-making, and skill-sharing. Our clients appreciate our empathy, subject matter expertise, and context-informed approach.
Brendan Nee, Principal
Brendan loves cities and technology. His background in transportation engineering and programming gives him a unique ability to solve planning and transportation problems through web-based maps, open data, interactive tools and APIs. He’s been playing with the web for so long he can remember when Netscape was king and the blink tag rocked his world!
Ruth Miller, Principal
With planning degrees from both MIT and UC Berkeley, Ruth has top academic planner cred. She spent years on transportation policy at a top U.S. planning firm and successfully advocated for better infrastructure at Walk Oakland Bike Oakland. At BlinkTag, she leads UX and project management. She’s also a master facilitator and operational expert. In her spare time, she’s board vice president of Transport Oakland.
Alec Berger, Director of Social Media
Familiar with blogging since before Blogger, Alec has 15 years of experience in writing content for online audiences. Equally comfortable creating content for both short- and long-form social media, he has managed tweeting, posting, blogging, editing newsletters and managing website content for a variety of organizations. He is passionate about people having equitable access to transit and safe, healthy transportation options and has both volunteered for and served on the Board of bike advocacy organizations.
Steve Bice, IT Magician
Steve has always been fascinated with computers, electronics, and what they can do to further human progress. This has led him to pursue a number of research and education positions including IT Technician at the University of Minnesota’s Earthquake Research (MAST) Laboratory, and as an Instructor of 3D Design at iDTech, a tech camp for High School students. Steve also contributes to a number of non-profit organizations with goals in art, education, and research.
Trucy Phan, Developer and Designer
Trucy is a front-end web developer, product designer, and project manager who also enjoys baking and teaching people Swedish. Previously, Trucy studied Mechanical Engineering at The University of Iowa and Civil Engineering at UC Berkeley, and has worked on projects ranging from virtual soldier research to accounting software for restaurants.
Jedidiah Horne, Co-Founder (Emeritus)
Jed is probably the best Ms. Pacman player you’ll ever meet, and definitely the best Ms. Pacman player ever to have driven the Mexico City subway. At MIT, Jed spent his time hosting a popular radio program and writing movie reviews for its student-run newspaper (and picked up a little engineering knowledge along the way). He’s worked as a commercial real estate research analyst for Newmark Knight-Frank, studied city planning and transportation engineering as a graduate student at UC Berkeley, and as a programmer and map guru at Apple Computer. Jed developed a taste for gambling in his native Big Easy, and tries to sneak trips to Reno whenever possible.