Filled in the bubbles? Double-checked your ballot? Signed your envelope?
Now take your ballot to a secure drop box near you, support a local business, and explore some local vibes while your at it.

Check out the Vibemap guides to dropping off your ballot in Oakland, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle.


“How are you?” — is how we once greeted each other.

Now we ask, “How you holding up?”

Some things change.

Remember 2019?

Health experts were telling us that being social would strengthen our general well-being. That’s when you helped us come up with an idea — an app that recommends meaningful things for you to do in a city.

One that gets you out.

Plugs you into welcoming events.

Helps you connect with people and places based on your vibe.

We called it Vibemap.


One of my favorite movies is Groundhog Day — so much, in fact, that I hosted a Groundhog-Day-themed party early this year. This week, I was happy to listen a new episode of The On Being Project, one of my favorite podcast, episode This Movie Change Me.

In the first segment of the podcast, novelist Naomi Alderman talks about how Phil Conner’s character is an example of how we can all be a little better while being the same person. …


The following is a collection of transportation-related data and tools for the San Francisco Bay Area and other cities in North America. These tools were originally collected and discussed at a 2018 Transit Week Event at ARUP in San Francisco.

How might we use data to create seamless travel experiences and connect San Franciscans between public transit and emerging mobility services? Starting at the Visualizing Better Transportation with Data event on Sept 26th, San Francisco Transit Riders (SFTR) will be partner with stakeholders in government agencies and companies in transportation to ask questions and explore how data can give riders…


At the end of last year, I walked on the platform of Muni Diaries Live in San Francisco. I pretended to wait for a Muni bus, which gave me ample time to tell a story and a few jokes about finding purpose sitting in the “living room” of San Francisco as an advocate for better public transportation.

Here’s my story:

I began my journey from the Midwest to San Francisco, about five years ago on the bus. I first started to explore the San Francisco using Muni, and once I got to know the Bay Area even better, I found something special…


An optimist’s view of living in a computer and embracing alternate reality.

Hollywood makes illusions of other worlds and times It even brings people back from the dead, as Viola Davis said in her moving Oscar speech Sunday night. A couple hours later, the stage of that same show was chaos and it seemed that the Academy produced a space-time rift to an alternate timeline. Unfortunately, our current alternate reality is nothing like from LaLa Land. Adam Gopnik writes about the parallels of Oscar Night, the Super Bowl, and the 2016 U.S. Election and wonders what prankster is tinkering with our world. …


Whether you are worried about the state of liberal democracy or the earth’s fragile climate, you may find yourself having frequent moments of fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD). I’d become self-aware of my own anxiety earlier this year — and that was just before the U.S. election!

Credit: Harli Marten

In 2016, I struggled with anxiety and uncertainty, I realized I need to embrace change. I’ve been trying a daily process of mediating, reflecting, journaling, and remembering messages of hope. …


It all started with a teletype mainframe in a janitor’s closet

I was out in San Francisco with friends, just a week after being in Oregon’s Willamette Valley — specifically, Portland. We chatted about HBO’s Westworld, which led to a discussion of topics including (but not limited to) robots, pioneers, reality, and the American West.

Naturally, our nostalgic, uninhibited conversation brought us to memories of grade school and the Oregon Trail video game. Every person in our group had vivid, formative memories of playing that game. Talk to any adult between 21 and 41 years old, and they’ll say the same. Why is that?

How did The Oregon Trail start?

The first incarnation of The Oregon Trail


How OpenGov Design uses color to help local government tell the story of their spending and services

OpenGov recently introduced new colors on our intelligence platform for government. We’ve received positive feedback on the colors, along with some superb questions about the choices we made, so we’d like to share a bit about how color can improve visual communication and some of the fun and helpful resources that we stumbled upon during this process.

Design is a blend of art and science

Color design in particular stretches the — ahem — gray area between the fields. The topic of color is emotive and personal and even thought the latest science and tools help, we have to trust our eyes.

Visuals in government reports tell the…


‘‘Exploratory experiment is the probing, playful activity by which we get a feel for things. It succeeds when it leads to the discovery of something there’’

— Donald Schön

Buildings with colors from social media. One of several artistic experiments with city mediums.

This is a post about how I learned to have fun while doing analysis of city neighborhoods using real-time, urban media and data. I’ll discuss how creative and playful analysis of city data can inform design and planning decisions.

This is a post expanded from my talk at Data by the Bay. I’ll cover the following:

  • How I used open city data and user-generated media to explore neighborhoods.
  • How to produce…

Steve Pepple

Co-founder of Vibemap. I write about data, cities, transit, and local government.

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