CMU Lab helps you see the world as it really is – using Big Data

What if you could see the impact of the air you breathe and understand how our earth has changed by viewing it from far above?

The CREATE Lab (Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment Lab) at CMU is making that happen and last week they introduced upgrades to two of its ambitious projects.

With EarthTime, the lab provides amazing visualizations of the earth from above, based on large amounts of data to tell stories, such as how cities grow. EarthTime is open source and lets scientists create their own stories from data.

Discover how urban sprawl has hit Las Vegas or Shanghai with a story created with data from NOAA and Google. Or view how water consumption has changed the surface water across the globe with a story using data from JRC and Google.

And last week, CREATE Lab from CMU added nine new monitoring cameras for The Breathe Project that show the release of pollution into the air around Allegheny County. In addition to the Downtown, Oakland and North Shore cameras already installed, Breathe Cam has added 24/7 stations that show operating steel plants in Braddock, Clairton and West Mifflin. Read more about it in this NEXTpittsburgh story.

Idea Foundry connecting Pittsburgh globally

Mike Matesic, founder of Idea Foundry, has become one of Pittsburgh’s best cheerleaders internationally and that has brought important gains to the region.

As part of his efforts with VisitPittsburgh and the Airport Authority, China Eastern Airlines will begin seasonal non-stop charter flights between Pittsburgh International Airport and Shanghai. Matesic has been courting executives and officials from China for several years, knowing the country represents a huge economic opportunity for our region.

In a discussion I had with Matesic, he said that as more people from China visit and learn about Pittsburgh, it will become one of the preferred destinations they share when they return home.

Separately, Idea Foundry executives conducted a nine-day mission to Santiago, Chile to connect leaders in their city and ours, and to help grow the social entrepreneurial culture here and abroad. This and other global outreach by Idea Foundry is expected to create global collaboration and idea transfer that will benefit the world community.

Move over CMU & Pitt – Chatham University moves up the list

While Carnegie Mellon and Pitt typically make the national news, this time it’s Chatham University breaking into the national spotlight. The Shadyside school, which has pledged to become carbon neutral, has been named by Best College Reviews as one of the 25 best green colleges – landing at number five.

According to Best College Reviews, Chatham is an officially recognized Tree Campus and participates annually in RecycleMania, a national recycling tournament.

“Chatham University is constantly working to make its campus more environmentally friendly,” they write. “One unique feature of the campus is Rea House, which is Chatham’s small environmentally-themed student dorm. Students living in Rea House live and work together in a small community of 28 students and work to display a commitment to an environmentally friendly lifestyle.”

Pittsburgh and Ford launch the City of Tomorrow Challenge

Ford Motor Company and Pittsburgh have launched the City of Tomorrow Challenge to make sense of the city’s transportation challenges and get local stakeholders involved in managing them. Now through mid-September, our city’s residents, businesses and community organizations can use the Challenge website to discuss their local transportation experiences and propose ideas on improving the city’s transportation services.

“In order for residents to use these services effectively and get where they need or want to be quickly and cost-effectively, they are going to need new tools to manage all the options. Coordination of services to prevent overwhelming the streets with underutilized vehicles while improving access for riders, cyclists and pedestrians will be crucial,” Forbes magazine said in describing the program.

The goal? Creating solutions that will help move people and goods around easily and effectively while also helping transportation service providers, including companies working on automated-driving technology. Here’s the fun part: Winning transportation ideas will get $100,000 for pilots to be run as a collaboration between the city, Ford, Dell Technologies, AT&T and Microsoft.

Upcoming business, career & networking events

Sales Cures All: Mastering Sales Prospecting

Tuesday, June 12, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Ascender

Dale Carnegie Skills for Success for Young Adults (free preview)

Tuesday, June 12, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at DoubleTree Greentree

Tour of Energy Innovation Center

Thursday, June 14, 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at Energy Innovation Center

Innovation in Real Estate

Thursday, June 14, 6:00 p.m. at Pittsburgh Technology Council