15th and Eads Streets

external image she741wn.94818_ub.jpg
Kassie Barroquillo
I chose the intersection of 15th Street and Eads Street in Arlington to study. When studying this area, first, one must know there is an entrance to a metro stop less than a block away. This is also located within fairly close proximity to the Pentagon. Less than a block away is an exit to Jefferson Davis Highway.


The messaging system of the area consists of the same signage which can be found across the state of Virginia. The signs are in English, with green backgrounds and white lettering. Much of the architecture in the area alludes to the business in the area. There are many hotels and apartment complexes, which are all tall buildings considering requirements in the DMV area. It is all functional space for housing people, permanently or temporarily. The architecture is also very intrusive. There is not much green space.


There are multiple ways in which information flows can be seen. First and foremost is the actual road. Eads Street is a four lane road and 15th Street is an eight lane road. Information is contained within the vehicles traveling. They carry people and their devices, along with built in devices like GPS. There are also sidewalks which are directing the movement of people. One can see where most people are walking as the metro stop is in that general direction. In this way, we are given information to understand where people are going.


There are power lines, which ensure people can transfer information. No cell phone towers can be seen, but it would be naive to think that there are no hidden cell repeaters.


In the morning, most people are walking toward Crystal City. There, one can find both businesses and the metro stop. Most cars are often seen driving toward Jefferson Davis Highway. If there is an emergency vehicle, they often come from Eads Street and turn on to 15th Street, toward Jefferson Davis Highway. This is a very heavily used road for vehicles.


Almost every person you see walking has headphones in and appears to be listening to music. Most people are not talking, so one can assume they are not having a conversation on the phone. Listening to music when taking the metro is the norm; it is not surprising that the pedestrians are preoccupied with cellular devices. When viewing the drivers, it is much rarer to see someone on a cellular device. In part, I believe this is caused by the upcoming exit because it is a very difficult to merge with this exit. Also, most new cars are Bluetooth capable.


This is a very busy place for internet connection. As many apartment complexes are about, there are 20 private networks alone. It can be assumed these all belong to people who live in the apartments. There are also three hotel wifi networks. You need to be a guest of the hotel to connect to these. There are two free networks, a Starbucks network and a restaurant network.

Image from Sheraton.com.




Exploration of M Street

By: Emily Fuerst

On Tuesday around 2 p.m. in the afternoon I strolled around M Street to observe the style of architecture, the behaviors of the surrounding people and to observe the presence of technological devices. The structural design surrounding M Street represents the historical aspect as well as depicting the area as incredibly community oriented. Several restaurants, trendy shops, offices and practical stores such as FedEx reside within the street portraying the location as very appealing to the public. Since this area is considerably populated with people, I was able to examine their interactions with various technologies.

Before embarking on this adventure, I imagined that I would see an abundance of people walking around, cell phone in hand as they texted, emailed and surfed the web. Our generation has developed a habit where we no longer watch where we are walking because we are too absorbed in our smart phones; which causes people to often bump into one another. I was shocked at how few people performed this act as I observed M Street. I did witness several people walking and texting but nowhere close to the amount as I had anticipated. However I noticed that several people would check their phones while waiting for the electronic cross walk signal to allow crossing. I even witnessed a girl walking across the street while absorbed in her phone. Below is an image of this risky decision.

Person walking.jpg

Even though the majority of strollers did not have their smart phone in hand, many were still using their phones or other forms of technology such as an IPOD to listen to music. Although this is a popular phenomenon among our generation, it can be dangerous in certain settings. An article published by the University of Florida states, “The number of injuries or deaths involving pedestrians, headphones and vehicles tripled from 2004 to 2010” (Brouker). Wearing headphones in urban areas such as Georgetown can distract walkers from hearing important warning signs such as a car’s horn or sirens.

Urban areas often require additional technological devices compared to rural areas that include dining and shopping. For example it is common to see sophisticated versions of the standard parking meter along M Street. Typical parking meters require users to insert coins for an allotted amount of time. More modern parking meters allow users to pay with additional forms of payment such as credit card. Another interesting form of technology I saw was outside of a law office. It was an intercom but it had a camera within it to verify who they were allowing within their building. Below is an image of this advanced parking meter and the intercom


Parking Meter.jpg intercom.jpg

The variety of signs you will discover in an urban area exemplifies the various messaging systems used in cities. Urban areas stricter guidelines on the amount of time you can park somewhere and the specific hours on when you are allowed to park. M Street even displays road signs that inform drivers that they are not allowed to stop between certain time frames. Signs portray messages to the public on the guidelines to follow when walking or driving within that location.

Lastly I wanted to touch upon the topic of wireless networks within a busy vicinity such as M Street. As I walked down the street I would periodically check my phone to view the amount of wireless networks available. I found it interesting that a large amount of wireless options appeared but many of these wireless connections required a password. Perhaps the secured connections belonged to some of the local companies rather than the restaurants that typically include this accommodation. Many people’s smart phones have access to 4G broadband signal which allows them the convenience of not having to search for a wireless network to connect too. Below is an image of some of the wireless connections available within M Street.

wireless 1.png wirless 2.png




Brouker, Shayna. "Wearing Headphones While Walking Is Hazardous." Weblog post. Health in a Heartbeat. University of Florida, 10 Apr. 2012. Web. <http://news.health.ufl.edu/2012/18914/multimedia/health-in-a-heartbeat/wearing-headphones-while-walking-hazardous/>.




DC-NET

In the latest Forbes report of America’s most wired cities, Washington DC rounded out the top 5 nicely at number 5. It’s not surprise given that the District constructed one this country’s first municipal area networks (MANs). Known as DC-NET, and made entirely out of fiber optics, it connects over 300 public buildings, including schools, libraries, government buildings, and recreation centers, and unlike most cities, the D.C. government, not a commercial service provider, owns the infrastructure of this network. Washington DC government owns and operates the 338 miles of fiber of which 118 miles are aerial fiber. As part of the MAN, wireless access is provided within limited proximity from public buildings with at least on hub in every ward. In terms of capacity, the DC fiber network is using about 30 percent of its 10 GB potential capacity and is evaluating leasing unused bandwidth to Telco carriers and the federal government.

Since I started the CCT program at Georgetown University I’ve had no problems finding Wi Fi hotspots and 4G broadband signal connectivity. However I wanted to verify the accuracy of Forbes, publication that is well known to as slanderous and given to distort the truth. I went out and about on a cold @#*tty day yesterday to check out connectivity in the Dupont Circle area. All of the places to eat around the Circle had free wi-fi to include the Cosi, Le Pain Cotidien, Krispy Kreme, and the James Hoban Irish Pub. It seemed like only yesterday that Starbucks started the trend in coffee shops with WI Fi. Now all places that serve food seem to provide it. Kramerbooks was wall to wall with people on their notebooks, iPads and smartphones pecking away as usual. I almost ran into a text walker! Verizon 4G connectivity was 3 bars on my Samsung Google Nexus. When I ran the Speedstest app my net throughput speed was 15.322 Mbps download and 10.028 Mbps upload. Those speeds are better than net throughput speeds on ethernet.
The map below illustrates various levels of broadband speed, throughput, and connectivity options for Washington DC:
What’s the connection between DC-Net and pervasive connectivity? The foresight to overbuild capacity in the underlying infrastructure provides the framework and the ability for the implementation of applications and emerging technologies that will fully utilize said infrastructure. “Build it and they will come”. Lay the technology groundwork and the applications will develop themselves.


verizon-4g-lte-coverage-map.jpg


http://broadband.dcgis.dc.gov/DCmap.html



Gloria, K., & Hadge, K. (2010, August 5). Addressing Information Divides With Diverse Approaches. New America Foundation. Retrieved November 27, 2012, from http://mediapolicy.newamerica.net/publications/policy/an_information_community_case_study_washington_dc

Angelica Das, “Informing D.C.: A Guide to the Washington, D.C. News Media Landscape,” M.A. Capstone Project, American University School of Communication, April 2010. Available online at __http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?__