BaltTech Intelligence: Baltimore tweet maps, Hunt Valley's Instagram competitor, Common Curriculum funding, and more

August 31, 2012|Gus G. Sentementes

This week was pretty busy in the land of Baltimore technology. Here are some of the cool things that happened.

* Baltimore Tweet maps: Dave Troy, 410 Labs cofounder, and Chris Whong, head of Charm City Networks, collaborated online to develop a map of Baltimore-based tweets. You can explore this map's geo-located tweets from Baltimore people, collected on Aug. 27. Chris even overlayed vacant housing on the map, so you can see people tweeting in the midst of, or near, a plethora of vacants in Baltimore. Expect to see more data-driven online collaboration among Chris, Dave and others in the tech community, who are eager to use cheap/free tools -- such as Google Fusion Tables -- to bring all the data together and alive for us.

* Hunt Valley's Instagram competitor: Lifeclip, a new app that wants to challenge Instagram's hegemony, will debut Saturday, Sept. 1, in the iPhone App Store. It's the product of Hunt Valley-based Latman Interactive, a company that makes online games. I've played with the app -- it's cool and powerful. And the company seems to have its marketing campaign on track. It's Twitter account already has 161,000 followers. But with all sorts of photo-sharing apps already out there (dozens? hundreds?), can Lifeclip rise above the noise?

* Baltimore's CIO-MG: Chris Tonjes, who came to Baltimore from DC government, is tasked with the Herculean challenge of modernizing the city's information technology infrastructure. He spoke about what he's trying to do at the Baltimore Tech Breakfast on Wednesday, and he's been very engaged and actively listening in the Baltimore Tech Facebook group. For a good recap of Chris's talk at the Tech Breakfast, head on over to Technically Baltimore (there's video, too)

* Edutech rising: A Baltimore "edutech" startup called Common Curriculum, disclosed this week through the Securities and Exchange Commission that it has raised $160,000 in debt out of a planned offering of $320,000. The company makes online software that helps teachers get better organized and quickly build their curriculum, while also connecting better with students and parents. Vincent Talbert, a cofounder of the successful Bill Me Later, which was bought by EBay/Paypal a few years back for nearly $1 billion, is an investor. Scott Messinger is the company's founder.

* Grand Prix recharged: A Baltimore tech company called NV3 Technologies will debut its new custom-made trailer that's able to charge up to 72 mobile devices, at the Grand Prix of Baltimore this weekend. The company makes interactive kiosks that can rapidly charge mobile devices in 15 minutes. It's also piloting a project in Baltimore where it's installing quick-battery chargers in the backs of taxi cabs. If the pilot goes well, the company will likely expand its marketing to reach cab companies all over the country. I wrote about the company in detail here.

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