Placemeter and Traffic in The Willows

[I started this project back in November 2015.  The project started nicely but never reached full speed and I didn’t find a natural time to write about it… until now]

In Fall 2015 I discovered Placemeter [Washington Post, TechCrunch, WebSite], a startup in NYC that used Computer Vision to track pedestrian and vehicular traffic.  At that point our local neighborhood was seeing a lot of car cross-through traffic, so I started a project: use Placemeter services to track traffic in several key locations in the neighborhood, correlate the traffic to infer flow, and then use this to have a more educated conversation with our city council.


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Placemeter has two different operating modes.  In both modes different areas of the field of vision are marked for analysis, either as a turnstile, to track objects going through it, in both directions, or as a polygon, to track objects going in and out of the area delimited by the polygon.   Placemeter applies CV algorithms to count the objects, to do object classification (pedestrians, cars, trucks, bicycles), and to do speed analysis.

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Linux Inside … ThingMagic Sargas

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Our ThingMagic Sargas just arrived.  This is a small (87mm x 80 mm x ) fixed RFID reader that packs a nice punch.  It has 2 high performance UHF RFID antenna ports capable of reading 750 tags a second at distances over 9 meters and an ethernet port, but it also has a BLE, USB, 4 GPIOs, micro-SD, and HDMI.  Inside there is a 1GHz ARM Cortex 8 running Linux (Debian) where you can run your own code.

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