By Nate Berg
In the 20 years he’d lived in New York, Raimondas Kiveris had seen the city change immensely. “It was a completely different place, a different town,” says Kiveris, a software engineer at Google Research. This got him wondering what his neighborhood looked like even before that — before he’d lived there, before he’d even been born. “There’s really no easy way to find that information in any organized way,” he says. “So I was starting to think, can we somehow enable this kind of virtual time travel?”
Three years later, his attempt at virtual time travel is taking shape as an open-source map that can show, in both a bird’s-eye view and a pedestrian-level view, the changes that happen to city streetscapes over time. With a slider to control the year, the map displays a historically accurate representation of development in almost any U.S. city dating back to 1800. Automatically generated 3D models of buildings rise from the landscape as the slider moves forward through time. It can even show a rough estimation of what a city would have looked like from the pedestrian’s view, like a low-res Google Street View. …
By Jessica Klein
The size, speed, and number of wildfires ravaging the western U.S. this season has been unprecedented. A third of Oregon’s 15 largest wildfires since 1900 have taken place this year. In California, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado, thick smoke has hung in the air for weeks as fires fueled by climate change burned millions of acres and resulted in at least 30 deaths.
And, despite the fact that we’re well into fall, the fire season still isn’t over. In Oregon, wildfires usually slow down around Labor Day, but the Holiday Farm Fire, for instance, burned more than 173,000 acres in September and October. Firefighter Doug Thackery, 56, a forester with the Oregon Department of Forestry in southwest Oregon, was among the first to respond. …
By Quinn Keast
At my company, we’re all-remote. That means we write a lot — in emails, Google Docs, Github, and Slack. We work hard to cultivate a written-first culture.
And that works beautifully for me. Because, you see, I have a hearing problem. Or as I like to say, I’m deaf as a post.
While I can hear sound, I can’t turn that sound into words, and rely on lip reading for day-to-day conversations.
For me, a product designer, this approach to work is amazing. Long stretches of focus time and being able to decide when and how to best do my work. …