Tag Archives: Honolulu

More Google Street View Maps

C&C Honolulu - Google Street View Last year at this time, I covered the Google Street View trike as it made the rounds at Kapiolani Community College and other campuses around town. Much like the Street View car, it's hard to miss this engineering marvel. It's an adult sized trike with a sizable multi-lens camera mounted on a mono-pod on the trike's frame. The team mapped the community colleges on Oahu and then went to the neighbor islands to map the campuses there. Between then and now, it was pretty quiet when all these maps were going to become available. Until now of course when I got word of Mayor Carlisle's press conference announcing the entire catalog of Street View maps of Hawaii. According to Product Manager, Evan Rapoport, the Street View team has been busy mapping campuses, State and City parks, recreation areas, tourist attractions and scenic spots. The press conference was held at Hanauma Bay on an off day that looked to be threatened by rain. But in the bay itself the weather was very cooperative. The City set up an Internet connected monitor to demonstrate how you would find a typical Street View map. The steps are pretty easy. First you start at maps.google.com. Then you enter in the search: Hanauma Bay. You might get several returned selections. I chose: Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve Park, Honolulu, HI. You then drag the Google Street View man (named Pegman) over the area of interest and as you do you will see blue paths appear. Those correspond to the Street View maps. You can also grab the embed code and drop these maps into your own website just like I've done here: View Larger Map The list of Street View locations are quite numerous and this document will get you started. I also posted a bunch of photos of the event here. There was good social media representation there with Dallas Nagata, Kyle Nishioka, Greg Yamane, Russ Sumida, Tara Coomans, Jerome Koehler and Ryan Ozawa. You''ll enjoy reading their followup coverage: I was hoping that Evan would also have the Google Street View backpack on hand to demonstrate but he admitted to me that  it was too new. According to Evan, that will be Google's next phase for Hawaii. I am sure they will capture some stunning hikes.

Elevated Rail

Elevated Rail modelIt's timely that the City is holding rail workshops around Honolulu to seek public input on station design considerations. Last night's workshop took place at the Pearl Ridge Elementary School auditorium and drew nearly 100 people. Kirk Caldwell, formerly a member of the House of Representatives and now Honolulu's Managing Director, opened up the evening with introductions and the agenda for the evening. Scott Ishikawa, formerly DOT spokesperson and now front man for the City Rail proposal took the audience through an overview of the project. What was presented was quite impressive. The key points Scott delivered for the elevated systems were:
  1. Proposals in response to the City's RFP were coming in at rates lower than expected, due in part to the competitive nature of the business and the economy.
  2. The elevated rail system will be a major boon to the construction industry.
  3. The look of the elevated rail will give Honolulu a futuristic appearance appealing not only to residence but also to tourists.
  4. The elevated system will get the ridership needed to justify it.
  5. The system will be safe and away from traffic so road congestion will not affect it.
  6. The system will be fast and estimated to take 20 minutes from Pearlridge to Ala Moana.
After the presentation the audience was divided into working groups to come up with suggestions on how the stations should be designed. There are construction  standards already set like the station canopy but ideas were being solicited for wall design, landscaping and station decor. The City will return to Pearlridge Elementary School on Oct. 15, 2009 to conduct another workshop with the ideas from last night incorporated.

Light Rail vs. Elevated Rail

Rail comparisonHere's a little background on the topic of the next episode of Bytemarks Cafe. Back in July I participated in Pecha Kucha Night at the Academy of Arts. After my presentation, Scott Wilson, Architect and member of American Institute of Architects (AIA Honolulu), did a presentation on Light Rail. At the time I wasn't aware of the major differences between Light Rail and Elevated Rail. That difference became obviously clear when he posted his pictures comparing the two. The elevated structures required to support the rail system were huge. Evidently the City contracted Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) only considered elevated as an option, not at-grade where light rail would apply. Wilson showed artists renditions of these structures as it would appear in downtown Honolulu and along the route to Oahu's west side. This would obviously affect the mauka to makai view line but there were also implications to overall costs, neighborhood impact and ongoing mantenance. Proponents of the elevated option counter that light rail would present safety concerns, operate at slower speeds and have higher long-term costs. The discussion on this topic is heating up as the City heads toward groundbreaking for the project later this year. You can find the vast assortment of positions from Doug Carlson's Say Yes to Rail System site to recent articles from local media listed on the AIA Honolulu Transit page. Lots of information to digest as this project moves forward with the potential to forever impact Honolulu. If you have any questions for Scott Wilson or Peter Vincent, both of AIA Honolulu, please tune in on Wed. 8/26 from 5-6pm on KIPO 89.3FM, Hawaii Public Radio. Call us at 808-941-3689 with your questions and insights.