The Omnibus Roundup: safaris, MTA data, street vendors, photos of streets and skies

Safari 7 is back! Actually, it never went away. But starting next Thursday you can delve deeper into the 3D maps, drawings and podcasts that illuminate the ecosystems along this urban transect that runs from Times Square to Flushing.

LOCATION: Studio-X 180 Varick Street, Ste 1610 New York, NY 10014 – 1 Train to Houston Street
EXHIBITION DATES: October 15-December 31, 2009, open to the public Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm

There are other ways to use handheld devices to improve the experience of riding transit, as we learned from the first in a recurring series of transit data meet-ups. And it looks like the MTA, finally, is coming around on its aggressive actions against techies working in the public interest with transit data. After an uproar from the web developer community, a new MTA chief, and a letter from Gale Brewer, the MTA is reversing course and several apps removed from the iTunes store are back on sale.

Whether you’re lucky enough to carry a smart phone or not, it’s getting harder and harder to find live, official information in subway stations, given the extensive staffing cuts in station agents. Often snack vendors and maintenance workers are the only ones around able (though not always willing) to assist and guide riders.

When it comes to the rights of street vendors, however, there is one guy who actually does have the answers. Sean Basinski, who worked with Candy Chang on the fantastic Making Policy Public: Vendor Power! is answering readers questions over at Check out Part 1, Part II, and Part III.

If you’re looking for holiday weekend activities, don’t forget to explore the streets of the Greenpoint Williamsburg Industrial Zone tonight and tomorrow with Sarah Nelson Wright and the Brooklyn Makes crew. Or, for a Saturday afternoon activity, register your team to take part in a group scavenger hunt that will help populate one of the most trafficked web sites in the world with your photos.

WHAT: Wikis Take Manhattan III, A photo scavenger hunt through NYC for Wikipedia
START TIME: Saturday, October 10 at 1:00pm
END TIME: Saturday, October 10 at 9:00pm
WHERE: Low Memorial Library, Columbia University OR The Open Planning Project, 148 Lafayette (between Broome and Grand)

And while we’re talking photos, if you were inspired by last week’s WNYC/Omnibus meet-up to look up more often when you’re going about your daily business, try next time to find the hidden alphabet in the constellations of forms created by the skyline. Or, just appreciate these wicked cool images, the work of German artist Lisa Rienermann:

Type the Sky

Type the Sky

Type the Sky

The Roundup keeps you up to date with topics we’ve featured and other things we think are worth knowing about.

The views expressed here are those of the authors only and do not reflect the position of The Architectural League of New York.