san francisco

The Collective Intelligence of Waze

How can groups use collective intelligence to allow for individuals to make better decisions?

I’ve been using Waze for a few weeks now.  I have been using it ( to my own fault ) to try and figure out a better way out of San Francisco during a Giants game. Spoiler Alert – there is no fast route. However, in theory I wonder why more apps are not allowing us to make better decisions?

Rating sites like Yelp or even the way we view trending content online are one thing, but real time data being solved by multiple people passively is quite amazing – and another animal all together.

waze, distributed intelligence

 

Waze is amazing because the network of users only exists to save everyone time and make their lives better.  Many sharing services ( look up Sharing Economy ) are meant to redistribute assets or unwanted goods – not time or ideas.  Crowdsourcing of labor is a great new frontier.

Two other projects also come to mind – not new, but worth discussing.

1. BOINC – using distributed grids for computing – Think SETI@home but bigger.

2. Tomnod –  Using distributed volunteers for mapping

 

So the one outstanding question remains – Is collective intelligence accurate?  If the data set is biased and/or wrong, knowledge based on bad data is not really helpful.

There is an obvious benefit from utilizing natural experiments to improve the human condition. Any app that helps me spend less time on the car and more time with my family is a winner.  I am pondering how crowds can band together to solve other issues and help each other in this manner with minor effort.  In the age of social networks, we have the largest networked grid of intelligence and assets – what do we want to do with them and who gives guidance / moderation to these networks to prevent them from being a mob?

 

 

 

Proposed Caltrain Bike Loading Plan

Every day I struggle watching people figure out how to load their bikes on caltrain.   Every day, the same type of people get on, and go to the same places. I wonder why is there not more structure that gives people guidance on where to put their bikes.

Here is what I came up with.  The idea is to have the people riding on the train the longest be closer to the back. This will help the train go faster to its destination, but also minimize bike overlap.

For people Going Inbound to San Francisco: In the mornings:  most people get off at SF.  Thus, bundle the most spots for SF.

For Leaving San Francisco in the evenings: People go to many more different locations: Thus, the center areas are for zones 2&3 where I assume most people get off.

This system is not perfect by any means, but its a start.  Ideally, I would like everyone to rack their bikes per rack based on when they get off, but there is an issue with people that get on early, and mess up the whole system.  Thus, having location based racking would be easiest on the most number of people.

Let me know what you think.  I assume posting this will open myself up to criticism, but thats ok. Critiques are part of putting your work out there.  If its a swing and a miss, thats okay too.

Patrick

caltrain bike parking racks

caltrain bike parking racks