Projects and Tools

WANTED: Volunteers / UROPs for Summer / Fall 2010!


Audio- and phone-based tools

What's Up

What's Up is a neighborhood news system that combines the power of the web, SMS and telephone to help children organize local community events (block parties, games, festivals, etc.) and find out what is happening in the places where they live.
  • The first version of the What's Up system was tested in Lawrence, MA as part of Leo's PhD thesis (http://www.media.mit.edu/~leob/thesis/). We are currently rewriting the original code and are planning to start testing it with youth organizations in the fall of 2010.

Audio Tags

The Audio Tags system provides a simple way for people to record audio messages, stories, poems, songs, etc. and associate them with everyday objects. You dial a number, record the desired Audio Tag and receive a code. The tag then becomes accessible to anyone by either phone, sms or the web. Community organizers might include Audio Tags in flyers to provide audio information about an upcoming event. One might also add Audio Tags to landmarks and use the audio messages to provide historical context, direction, or fun information about a place.
  • The Audio Tags system is currently under development. We will be testing its first prototype in late fall 2010.
  • Future versions of the system will add interactivity to the tags, making it possible for users to not only play the audio content, but also input information to audio polls and surveys or be transferred to specific phone numbers associated with the tag.

Voip Drupal

Technical platform that makes it easier to make web services available to regular touchtone phones, facilitating community outreach and providing an online presence to those who are illiterate or do not have regular access to computers. Voip Drupal facilitates the construction of Drupal sites that literally pick-up the phone, make calls, record messages, broadcast audio, run voice polls, and more.

Youth Radio Network Portal

Youth Hub for Haiti

Child-Friendly Cities toolkit

Mapping tools

Grassrootsmapping - Do-it-yourself aerial photography


Cartagen - Mapping software

A set of tools for mapping, enabling users to view and configure live streams of geographic data in a dynamic, personally relevant way.

  • Neighborhood Mapping Tool


More on our vision for the Neighborhood Explorers' Toolkit

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Curriculum: