Announcing the Official Launch of “Tu Tulum”

Tulum Raiders, Inc. proudly announces the launch of “Tu Tulum,” a community resource map and planning tool for everyone!

Follow this link for the full site:

         http://www.yohman.com/students/2012/lglancy/Tulum/TulumHome_0612.html

Project:

Tu Tulum is a neighborhood resource map for the citizens of the town of Tulum. It is a one-stop resource where community members can find out what public resources are available to them, and where. It is also a forum where the townspeople can express their opinion and make suggestions to their civic leaders about improvements that can be made, which assets they value and which deficits they would like improved in their community.

The website maps out a variety of parks, bike rack locations, civic offices, and other points of interest, and includes info windows and photos about the location. These community resources are toggled by category, so viewers can turn them on or off at their viewing convenience. Tulum is divided into “colonias” or neighborhoods. These colonias are also mapped in a toggled layer, allowing residents to see which colonia they belong to. In order to connect residents with happenings in the community, a Twitter widget streaming Tulum-related tweets is also featured on the site. This allows community organizers to reach a wider, but Tulum- centered audience when tweeting about events happening in the city.

Why does this matter?

Tulum is a rapidly emerging Caribbean coastal town in Quintana Roo, Mexico. The neighboring global tourism destinations of Cancun and Playa del Carmen are a threat to Tulum’s future, bringing upon it rapid and unmitigated growth. The 18,000 citizens of Tulum are a diverse group of Mayans, Mexicans from other states and international small business‬ owners. These citizens share a common goal: to preserve Tulum’s culture and ecosystems.

With unprecedented growth on the horizon, the Municipality of Tulum hired the Tulum Raiders, to create a civic engagement tool to help their citizens to shape the future of their communities. Tu Tulum means Your Tulum. The neighborhood portal we’ve created is a tool to give the people of Tulum a forum in which to share their visions.

Purpose of our website:

The Tulum Neighborhood Portal has two functions:

1) A one-stop neighborhood resource map for the citizens of the city of Tulum.

2) A tool for the citizens to participate in city planning by identifying places they like or that need improvement. Citizens can also suggests resources needed in the community.

Main functions:

1) Community resources: toggled by category, so viewers can turn them on or off at their viewing convenience.

2) Red/Green/Magic Wand: users can directly click the map to add three types of markers to “evaluate” their neighborhoods.

Red: Indicates an unsatisfactory area or asset that needs attention

Green: Indicates a positive asset in the community

Magic Wand: Indicates a non-existing, but desired asset

3) Twitter Widget: it does a live search and streams Tulum-related tweets. Citizens/public officials can advertise community events or announcements by including “Tulum” in their tweets to be listed in the widget. This allows them to reach Tulum- centered audience when tweeting about events happening in the city.

4) Picasa API: retrieve photos from Picasa album and show photos in slideshows. Pictures will be shown in the box below the title.

Wire Frames :

Wire Frame Home

 

Wire Frame Participate

Wire Frame Participate

The Team:

Lisa: The connection to the community and municipal staff of Tulum. Lisa collected local knowledge to create the first-ever documented boundaries of the communities of Tulum. She also collaborated with Tulum residents to test the site and receive feedback for continuous improvements. She worked on the Picasa API slideshow, authoring KMZ files in Google Earth and contributed general design and coding support.

Yumi: The Coder extraordinaire. Yumi was the main coder for Tu Tulum. She worked tirelessly through the coding details of the various redesign and functional changes the website underwent over time.

Paola: The official “traductora”(translator), she translated the web content for Tu Tulum. This includes the special HTML keys for accent marks, which were one of the earlier challenges. She also worked on photo editing for the Picasa slideshow, bringing in the Twitter feed, and styling of the website.

 Documentation:

User interaction using a Custom Functions

<Participate: red/green light + light bulb function>

We aim to make this website as an alternative tool to conventional community planning led by planners and professionals. Thus, user interaction is the key of our website. The function allows us to geographically map concerns and ideas the residents have on their own community.

The process of using this function is intuitive. Users click on the location they want to comment about, choose the type of the place (good, bad, idea), and make a comment. The “green light” and “red light” icons are also self-explanatory. It is easy for users to understand whether the place is seen positive or negative. The yellow light bulb icon symbolizes an idea that the user is interested in sharing with their community.

Considering the level of residents’ web familiarity, we tried to make this function’s user interface simple and easy to navigate. Input form is also kept simple (location, type, and comment) so that users would not be discouraged to give comments. Finally, the anonymity of the comments invites users to post any comments without the risk of repercussions that may be related to politics or other tensions in the community.

The photo slideshow streaming in photos from the Picasa API is an additional feature of Tu Tulum. Eventually, if users would like to contribute photos to the photo banner, they can directly be uploaded to a public Picasa album, which will automatically add them to the slideshow.

Custom Layers

The neighborhoods of Tulum were nothing more than unofficial borders known to some residents of Tulum by word of mouth. The Tulum Raiders employed AutoCad files provided by the municipality of Tulum to author KMZ files of the neighborhoods. This layer was then toggled by neighborhood, and one “all neighborhoods” toggle box to allow users to see what neighborhood they belong to, as well as the names and boundaries.

A Google places layer was also included in the website, highlighting the relevant community resources. These points include an info window containing a photo and description of the location.  The homepage also features a legend for the user to locate these points easily.

 Evaluation:

  • What worked: narrowing down the focus of the website, using sharp design, specifying the geography in twitter widget to eliminate Turkish bag pipe tweets.
  • What did not: Spanish accents (we did fixed the problem in the end).
  • What would you do if you had more time: upgrading the user interface (making side bars on the right and changing to a more minimalist design, easier single-access to the “participate” function…etc)
  • What is the future of the project: A testing phase of the website will be implemented with the support of the Tulum Municipality. If the website is successful, then the city may choose to buy server space to host the website in the long term. The website is also a model for the sister-city project of Little Tokyo. The Tulum Raiders are interested in benefitting additional communities with modified versions of this resource in the future.

 

 

Tulum Raiders Week 7 Update

The Tulum Raiders have been hard at work, revisiting the drawing board to incorporate suggestions made by EY ventures in order to guarantee consumer satisfaction.

A More Focused Mission

The Tulum Neighborhood Portal will focus on assets, both existing and ideal, that will be mapped and rated by the Tulum community itself. Community events will continue to be actively updated via live Twitter feed with the hash tag, #eventosTulum

How will it Work

The Tulum Neighborhood Portal will contain three types of markers visitors can directly click, drag, and drop onto a map:

Red:                            Indicates an unsatisfactory area or asset that needs attention

Green:                        Indicates a positive asset in the community

Magic Wand:            Indicates a non-existing, but desired asset

The tool we will utilize to create the markers is Google Forms, and the mechanism (for now) we will be using to store the data so other users can see points already placed is Google Fusion Tables.

What Changes This Requires

First off, existing assets (such as bike paths, government offices, etc.) will no longer be toggled, but rather will serve as default items on the map. Under the new Tulum Raiders mapping plan, these points will have a “click” function that opens a Google form to rate the success of the point my indicating if its good or bad, green and red respectfully.

The Twitter feed will continue to inform site visitors about events, but will be linked to the more Tulum, Mexico specific hash tag #eventosTulum, and the widget box will play a more minor roll than the current Beta version reflects.

Why This Still Matters

The Tulum Neighborhood Portal will be a stress-free way to engage community members of Tulum in participatory planning. Tulum planners will have access to this visual and dynamic map that expresses the community’s desires and concerns. This will hopefully lead to more effective citizen oriented planning projects in the quickly growing community of Tulum.

 

Week 7 Web Assignment

DC Metro: Proposed Stops and the Areas that will Benefit

http://www.yohman.com/students/2012/paola/week7map.html

This map shows the five proposed WMATA metro stations and the various businesses, offices, and recreational areas it will serve. As it currently stands, the Washington D.C. metro leaves several key pockets undeserved, particularly areas with a vibrant night life, shopping, and physical recreation areas. As bus service hours are far more limited than metro, this causes complications for non-vehicle commuting to these locations.

Wee Fails:

-The arcGIS layer will not actually toggle despite the deceiving little box :(

-The arcGIS layer will not show until the zoom is increased a bit

 

 

Introducing the Tulum Neighborhood Portal (Beta)

We are pleased to announce the Beta launch of the Tulum Neighborhood Portal!

Tulum Neighborhood Portal (Beta)

A picture is worth a thousand words, but working map is worth a million! Check out the full site at:

http://www.yohman.com/students/2012/lglancy/Tulum/tulum05_07.html

What is this website and what does it do?

The Tulum Neighborhood Portal is a neighborhood resource map for the citizens of the city of Tulum. It is a one-stop resource where community members can find out what public resources are available to them, and where. It is also a forum where the townspeople can express their opinion and make suggestions to their civic leaders about improvements that can be made.

The website maps out a variety of parks, bike rack locations, civic offices, and other points of interest, and includes info windows and photos about the location. These community resources are toggled by category, so viewers can turn them on or off at their viewing convenience.

Tulum is divided into “colonias” or neighborhoods. These colonias are also mapped in a toggled layer, allowing residents to see which colonia they belong to.

In order to connect residents with happenings in the community, a Twitter widget streaming Tulum-related tweets is also featured on the site. This allows community organizers to reach a wider, but Tulum- centered audience when tweeting about events happening in the city.

Why does this matter?

Tulum is a rapidly emerging Caribbean coastal town in Quintana Roo, Mexico. The neighboring global tourism destinations of Cancun and Playa del Carmen are a threat to Tulum’s future, bringing upon it rapid and unmitigated growth. The 18,000 citizens of Tulum are a diverse group of Mayans, Mexicans from other states and international small business‬ owners. These citizens share a common goal: to preserve Tulum’s culture and ecosystems.

With unprecedented growth on the horizon, the Municipality of Tulum hired the Tulum Raiders, to create a citizen engagement tool to help their citizens to shape the future of their communities. Tu Tulum: Tu Colonia means Your Tulum: Your Neighborhood. The neighborhood portal we’ve created is a tool to give the people of Tulum a forum in which to share their visions and to access resources in their communities.

The phases of creation:

The Tulum Neighborhood Portal is a dynamic project that can be modified based on the needs of the Tulum community. Here are visuals of the first phases of our ideas.

Wireframe 1

Wireframe2

New additions, coming soon:

  • Toggle the neighborhood layers separately
  • Create and add additional main driving routes and bike routes
  • Work on the Design, such as adding a flash photo feed of images of community volunteers and celebrations
  • Add a poll using Google Forms and a space to provide recent poll responses
  • Add a general comment box that changes for each neighborhood
  • Make the site Live and encourage people to use it

Challenges:

Turkish bagpipes always seem to get in the way. Apparently, Tulum, the other noun, is a traditional bagpipe of the northeast region of Anatolia, Turkey.  Of more concern to us was the fact that a lot of people tweet about it, so they were showing up in the Tulum Neighborhood Portal Twitter feed. For the final, we will attempt to narrow the tweet search parameters to exclude these tweets.

Deciding on where the neighborhood boundaries would be was complicated. An actual document with these informal boundaries did not exist previously. Similarly, finding the resources to map was a challenge, because this required a lot of on the ground knowledge, as the city is only four years old.

The Tulum Raiders are constantly thinking of was to make the site extremely user friendly and inviting to the diverse population which includes Mayan groups and the foreigners that live there.

Credits:

 Yumi “Coder Extraordinaire”: html coding of website layout and functional features;     weather widget

Lisa: “Neighborhood Info Wrangler”: Geo coding of points of interest, definition and creation of neighborhood KMZ files

Grace: “Design Whiz”: Planning and CSS coding of aesthetic properties of the website; blogging

Paola: “Social Mediabutterfly”: Modifying and implementing the twitter widget into the Tulum Neighborhood Portal; blogging.

 

Tulum Raiders Update

The Tulum Raiders have been hard at work thinking of ways to improve the Tulum Neighborhood Portal. After receiving feedback from E.Y. Venture Capitalists, we have made some adjustments to further focus the aim of our website, as well as increase the user-friendliness of or product.

Clarifying Our Purpose

There are 2 main purposes of our website:

1) Map existing community resources and

2) Identify future needs.

  • Asset map and public information API serves for purpose 1
  • Poll and comment serves for purpose 2
      • The result of the poll, and comments will not be mapped

Change in API

Rather than utilize the Twitter API to simply list real-time Tweet feeds, we have decided to employ the ESRI Public Information Map API. This is different in that it funnels other social media feeds (Tweets, YouTube videos, Flikr posts) and maps them as points with clickable info windows containing the posted info based on a geo id. This will better serve Tulum community members; if folks tweet about an event at the park, the event’s general location will be mapped linked to the tweet topic.

Toggled Features

To accommodate for the mapped points mentioned above, we have decided to make a separate toggled layer called : Tulum Social. Our community resources will also then be made a separate layer that both can be turned on and off to avoid crowding on the map.

Layout

In an effort to make the design more user friendly, we have decided to use a one column layout. This will allow for a more natural placement of our toggles and polls, while leaving the bottom open for public comments. We are also in the process of exploring the use of a photo image as the backdrop for the web page.