Yahoo is running a campaign right now called “Start Wearing Purple”. They are highlighting innovative, entrepreneurial spirits, like the founder of http://www.kiva.org, a microloan non-profit organization that connects entrepreneurs around the globe, often in economically underdeveloped regions, with investors from around the globe.
What I find to be the most interesting part of this site, which will likely come as no surprise, is the part devoted to the program “Purple Pedals”
The idea is to combine a bicycle, a camera, and a GPS unit and let the rider loose on the streets to document a bike ride, the spatial and visual information associated with that bike ride. It’s actually very similar to our photo documentation of our group rides, and our GPS documentation of the bike racks on campus. The purple pedals site has a blog, links to the organized photo and map data, and a series of videos about the ideas and creation of the project. There is also an opportunity to win your own Purple Pedal bike, an Electra Townie frame modified with a camera, GPS, and battery.
I submitted my own 200 word entry for why I think the Freewheel Collective would make an exceptional recipient of one of these bikes. I encourage you to submit an entry as well, if you think that you could put this bike to good use in documenting what it’s like to be a bicyclist on Long Island! We could document the good and the bad, the natural beauty and history of Long Island, the danger zones and hazards to bicycling. The endless strings of unmoving traffic and the wreckless speeders along narrowly shoulders highways. Its naive to think that photo documentation of these features of our environment alone can bring about change, but to have documentation of this way of life provides material to point to when we are trying to state our case.