Friday, April 5, 2013
Steve Clowney over at the Property Profs blog regularly posts fun maps that he finds. Following that trend, I just have to share this new one I have stumbled across. The folks over at the gothamist blog have looked at public urination citations and created an interactive map of where you are most likely to get busted when you just really need to pee. Take home message for people in Williamsburg: make sure everyone goes potty before you leave your bar house. Maybe what this map really tells us though is that we need more public toilets.
Monday, April 1, 2013
Happy Dyngus Day! As everyone surely knows, the Monday after Easter is celbrated as Dyngus Day in Poland and in some U.S. cities with Polish-American cultural history. At the Land Use Prof Blog we like to feature holdiays that have historical and cultural roots that also involve local politics, community events and neighborhood effects--and therefore, land-use tie-ins. So here's a link to last year's post on Dyngus Day and land use.
So today's the day to get a pussywillow branch to chase around that special someone--no April Foolin', even if CNN's Anderson Cooper thinks it's funny and stupid. If I lived in Buffalo or South Bend (e.g.), I'd drop everything today and get down to the Dyngus Day celebrations!
I was intrigued by a story on the radio recently about how Google could accurately predict flu outbreaks in a locale weeks before the Center for Disease Control simply by the regional use of flu-related search terms in the search engine. It made me wonder what Google might be able to tell us about my own personal passions in and around land use.
I started noodling around with Google Trends, which shows the variability of a search term over time with the most searches labeled as 100. Here are some results that I think will fascinate land use folks. Foremost, here is the graphic that shows the relative number of times people searched for the term "land use":
Now, to all of us writing and reading a "land use" blog, the relative shrinking of land use searches does not bode well. I see at least two important potential lessons, both of which are unproven hunches. The first is a guess that searches for all things "land use" peaked around 2005 - 2006 because of the Kelo v. City of New London case, which brought land use planning and land use law into the media spotlight. Second, I would guess that there are other terms out there that really are about land use but go by other names. Here is a graphic that shows the Google search trends for several other big terms in the land use lexicon:
My question to the folks out there is... what are the land use terms that are on the rise? What are the terms in our field that are skyrocketing in Google searches? And moreover, what does that tell us about land use planning, land use law, and the public perception of the legal structures that frame the built envrionment? If anyone decides to spend time Google Trends-ing land use terms and finds one that is peaking now, please let me know and I'll add it to the blog!
Stephen R. Miller