Dhonnobad die choto korbo na.
This Bangladeshi phrase translates to something along the lines of "I don't want to shame you by thanking you, because it is not enough..." We definitely feel that a mere thank you is not enough to express our gratitude for the incredible contributions that 506 of you have made.
The team at the Urban Launchpad has been truly humbled by the response to our project. In addition to far exceeding our initial funding expectations, we've received dozens of messages from y'all providing advice, feedback, collaboration, and support (even a contact that is developing a Bengali typeface, which will certainly be a huge help!).
Perhaps most exciting has been hearing stories from bus riders throughout the world, intrigued by what might be possible through the Flocksourcing process we've been developing. Citizens of Lahore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Maracaibo have even reached out for potential collaborations in their cities!
The development of this project will be ramping up over the next two weeks. Our MIT research partners Kuan and Elizabeth have been on the ground the past week, working with Kewkradong to continue gathering data on the city's key bus routes, assessing map literacy using different map typologies, and initiating an inventory of the buses and bus companies.
By tomorrow, we'll be joining them to finish gathering data on those routes, begin finalizing the maps for production and distribution, as well as begin prototypes of other elements of a full bus infostructure. With anything of this improbable nature in a city like Dhaka, something (and more likely, many things) may surprise us (like a hartal, or political protest, which makes it unsafe to be on the roads), so we have built some patience into the hundred little steps of safely making a bus map for Dhaka.
We'll continue to share updates via Kickstarter, especially once the map design is finalized and we've begun distribution. Stay tuned to our fieldwork antics and anecdotes via our Tumblr (Urban Launchblog) and twitter (@UrbanLaunchpad), and keep an eye out for our forthcoming messages regarding backer rewards.
Additionally, we'll be hosting the digital version of the bus map and datasets from our website, www.urbanlaunchpad.org, for public use.
Once more, thank you.
Stephen & Albert, on behalf of the Urban Launchpad team
PS, if you didn't catch it, Ben Schiller wrote a piece on FastCo.Exist about the project. Check out Building A Map For The Insane Public Transit Of Bangladesh