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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Georgia Tech to host TransportationCamp South

Are you the type of person who relishes conversations and debates about streetcar lines, bike lanes, and using open-source data for the good of mankind? Do you get frustrated at cocktail parties when no one wants to talk about the MARTA app you built?

On Feb. 9, Georgia Tech will host TransportationCamp South, a daylong event which aims to bring together "thinkers and doers" in transportation and technology. It's the first time that a city in the Southeast has hosted the event, which since 2011 has taken place in New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Montreal.

"Technology is going to end up being one of the main ways we overcome some of our transportation problems," says Ted Bradford, one of the event's co-organizers. "Now that smart phones are everywhere and anyone with a little know-how can develop mobile apps, it is easier than ever to leverage this technology to address policy problems."

Bradford, an East Atlanta resident and recent CL contributor, points to MARTA's decision a few months ago to release the agency's GPS tracking data to the public.

"Within hours, programmers had taken the bus tracking data and developed a trip planner app," he says. "And that's only scratching the surface. An event like TransportationCamp in Atlanta brings together engineers, programmers, designers and community activists to develop and implement new tools to help make a MARTA trip as seamless as hopping into your car."

The conference, which is sponsored by the Georgia Tech Urban Transportation Information Lab, the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club, Imagine Atlanta, and Citizens for Progressive Transit, is actually considered an "unconference." Participants propose and lead the discussion sessions, which each last roughly one hour. (Here's more info on how that works.)

More details about speakers are expected in the coming weeks. But if you're interested in making things, breaking things, and looking at transportation in a new way, consider attending this conference.

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