Thursday, October 29, 2009

3D Building Update

Well, I never thought that I'd have as much as 17 building models of mine accepted into Google Earth.

It was amazing! I checked up on it and found virtually all of my models located in Ottawa. I have 20 models currently uploaded. 17 of them have been accepted, two have been rejected (then again one of those two were experimental because I'd tried making it with the 'Building Maker') and the other one still hasn't been reviewed yet. So really I've just had one rejection, and I'm surprised because it says I'm missing textures yet I covered the entire building.


These buildings are of my old neighborhood.

I'm really happy. My hard work paid off. It's all coming together. What's funny is my model of the Public Health Agency (Small brown hi-rises on Carling) was only completed yesterday, and they've been accepted already.

I guess what they do is look at a location and review all buildings that have been recently uploaded in that location that are Google-Earth-ready. In this case they looked at 'Nepean,' reviewed all of my recently uploaded models, and continued on to look at the rest of the buildings I uploaded not in Nepean (such as the Public Health Agency, or Holland Cross).

It's a great motivator. I'm now really interested in continuing. My ultimate goal is modelling as much of Ottawa as possible. And, you know...when a modeller does a great job and has many models accepted into the layer in Google Earth, they become featured in the 3D Warehouse and Google will sometimes honor them for their effort. There was a recently featured modeller from Calgary called 'Into The West' that was talked about a lot on Google's blogs, etc.

I'm on a roll. So look out, City of Ottawa. I'm turning everything 3D!

-Justin C.

Friday, October 23, 2009

"The Ottawan" On Printed Paper

Today The Ottawan debuted as a newspaper:


Of course, none of the stories on there are real. I think. This was an assignment for one of my classes at college, my most favorite class actually. My teacher provided five of the six stories on there, and I formatted and layed all of them out in my own fashion.
The one story I did make up related to the photo I also took (on Flickr). It's the "Aging Population takes badly to new technology article." Basically it's about how my friend, Chris (pictured) is struggling with today's programs at his age and needs a tutor.

Originally I was going to write about him staging a protest on the roof about how more computers should have the programs on them so he could have a better time with it, but it changed into something more legitimate. In reality I'm sure it's true that the older population is having trouble migrating to today's advanced new technologies, having to relearn stuff and re-educate themselves on the new complicated, futuristic computer applications. Chris is my example. I'm proud of what I wrote.

It gets me thinking of actually producing this kind of thing myself. After all, I do have InDesign, the program I used to make this front page. It all generates ideas.

It's all interesting. Maybe I'll do more. We'll see.

-Justin C.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gamma-Ray Productions Presents:

...Itself as my new Flickr screen name!

I feel that I should explain this. So that's what this post is about: My new, more professional name.

Gamma-Ray Productions originated as the banner for a small, random comic strip that my father, his friends, and myself used to draw/write. My father and his friend James Brunton (who now lives in Calgary and only returns for Winter) originally did the comic themselves when they were younger. One day, while at a co-owned gallery on Somerset Street, I decided to draw exactly what is shown below:


View Larger Map


While today it appears to be a residence, it was once owned by my dad and James and called 'Gamma-Ray Productions.' Basically it was a tiny, one-room art gallery that showcased paintings as well as many other types of artwork (including bowls of the oddest substances once displayed on a table in the front window). It hosted artshows and attracted local painters and other artists. It was kind of an odd little building. Basically it was a long, narrow room with a counter and sink at one end, behind which was a back office and a bathroom. The bathroom itself contained a back door. There was a large door in the floor that led to the basement. I was only nine when the gallery was in operation.

So one day I drew that picture of the front of the building seen from across the street. James came into the back room and saw it, and then suggested something else: he started drawing intersecting lines with a banner at the top and a title in the middle. Then he inserted drawings and simple text. There was our comic. At the top he'd written "Gamma-Ray Productions Presents:" and in the middle, the title. I can't remember what our first title was, but it had something to do with Art. I remember 'art' being in the title somewhere. "Art is Expressive?" Art is something, I remember that. That was the first time I contributed to producing under that name.

These comics rarely had a plot or storyline. Most of the time it was just a random drawing with words in it. Mostly the title of the comic would evoke a theme and most of the pictures would be related to it somehow. There was one we did a long time ago titled 'Busy Signal.'


One of the last comics I started, a few years ago. Unfortunately, any others we did are either lost or not in my possession. This was what a standard page looked like.

We would do these comics all the time back then. Between the ages of nine and maybe thirteen I helped produce some interesting material. They were vibrantly colored, diverse, and spontaneous in storytelling, seeing as almost each box had a different story to it.

The name 'Gamma-Ray' Productions goes back further than that though. I'm sure it was around since before I was born. My father has some big rectangular canvasses with the name on it and there was a big wooden sign that was used on the front of the building. Today it resides in my dad's basement.

While I no longer write/draw comics, and while my dad and James no longer own the 'gallery' on Somerset, and while James isn't even living here anymore, I still credit anything I produce with that name. It doesn't mean anything. It's not a trademark or an official name, it's not incorporated. It's not really anything at all. It's just a name my dad or his friends came up with that we like to produce things under, because it's fun and it's like it is a real trademark or company or something like that. I had a T-shirt with the logo on it. At some point when we had the gallery, we had a few shirts made up. The logo always had a miniature Saturn-like planet under the 'M' in Gamma. Unfortunately my shirt was lost to my father who probably threw it out because it was old and stained light pink (I mixed it up with red shorts in the laundry) and it had just been around for awhile. I can be seen in my Flickr photos wearing the shirt a few times.

That's why today I've decided to change my screen name to Gamma-Ray Productions. Because while it's not exactly in its heyday anymore (in the form of a working art gallery and comic-strip) it still lives on in the things that we produce. It was created a long time ago. The name still exists today. And I think that I should help in keeping it common, for it to not be forgotten. Hey, if someday I do well and sell screenplays that make huge hits and release bestsellers, then I will continue to trumpet that name in that context. I like it. I think it's cool and fun to use and it's good to keep something going that the original generation started. Another thing I'm interested in is having an archival facility, since in all respects keeping records is a crazy habit of mine. The Gamma-Ray name would be in that too.

Besides, my original screen name was too boring and obvious. The name 'Gamma-Ray Productions' makes it more interesting, more professional-sounding, and more different. And I will be the one to carry the name on. With that, you'll see any video I produce with that label on it. It won't be located on photos, because I'd rather not spend too much time having to watermark them, and the screen name will be enough to serve the purpose. In the unlikely event that I paint, if they were to be exhibited they'd be exhibited under that name. Any media I produce will be related to it.

Gamma-Ray Productions will live on, I hope, in both the abstract sense and the practical sense.

-Justin C.

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's Super!

When I walked into class today, one song suddenly started playing in my head: "The Logical Song." It's by Supertramp, actually. Not Madness. There's no Madness in this post at all.

After setting up my laptop I went straight to YouTube and put it on in my headphones. It was exactly like how it sounded in my head.

Today marks the day I listened to something different for once, in a long while. Supertramp is another of those bands I like other than Madness for more than one song. The first song I heard from them was called "Dreamer," though I'm sure everyone's heard that. If I were to ask anyone about the band the first song that would come into their mind would be their song "Dreamer." The first time I heard that was when I was nine or ten or eleven, and I'd heard it in a remake of Rocky & Bullwinkle: The Movie. The song never actually properly played during the movie - just odd parts of it. But it interested me. Then I heard it on the radio. Unfortunately, I thought at the time that there was something wrong with the speaker, because the song went really quiet between the beginning and end. No, the song does that because it was recorded that way.

Eventually I looked up the band and listened to some of their other songs. I like 'Bloody Well Right' quite a bit, especially how it goes "right - RIGHT!" when the main topic of the song comes in. It sounds like they're trying to sing the word perfectly to me, and they're trying too hard, which just makes it sound funny instead. Right!

But the best album I think they did was "Breakfast in America." I like the most songs on it. Not every one, but certainly the title song, "Goodbye Stranger," "Gone Hollywood," "The Logical Song," and "Child of Vision."
I should say though that some of the songs I like, I only like part of. For instance, a few of them are really quite long - "Child of Vision" is seven and a half minutes long, and all the vocals and choruses are sung within the first two minutes. The rest is violent, almost random, keyboard playing. "Gone Hollywood" is exactly like "Dreamer" - it's prolonged and quiet throughout the body of the song, but loud and exciting at the beginning and ends. The ending of "Gone Hollywood" is probably one of the best-sounding endings to me. The keyboards and pianos and alto sax all really work together to create a lasting, happy, winning sound that makes me think of a bluish-whitish, watery mix that's joyful and ecstatic. In the morning of course.
Then "Breakfast in America" is interesting and fun, and "Goodbye Stranger" sad and forlorn but equally immortal. "The Logical Song" is well done, and "Take the Long Way Home" is probably the best song on there, with an unforgettable piano that makes me think of Manhatten. I don't know, but pianos in songs that make me think of Manhatten are the best-sounding melodies. I received the same effect when I first heard the piano of the song "Our House." 
There's one thing I should take note of, though. This is a funny backwards kind of trivia: Supertramp was huge in America. The band was British, but their fanbase was very largely American and Canadian. They played here in Ottawa in the 1970s on tour. In England, meanwhile, they went largely unnoticed. I read once that they "could walk down a street and not be recognized" in England. In contrast, Madness was virtually unknown in America or Canada and rarely did any tours over here. They tried to break America but couldn't, and "Our House" was the only hit here, at #7 on the American charts. Yet they were huge in Britain and well-received. Their big mistake was not promoting "Our House" when it went huge on this continent, because they weren't interested in being huge in this part of the world anymore. Thanks to MTV and MuchMusic here in Canada they got some exposure. But not a lot. And so while Supertramp is well-known here and easy to find CDs of them, Madness is the opposite.

So I just think that its kind of interesting in that they were opposite from each other.

Supertramp was a good band. I like them. Them and Madness. And I should listen to their songs more often.

-Justin C.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Good Thing"

There's a song I recently listened to that I haven't heard in a long time. I originally heard it on a commercial about TD Banks and I liked it immediately. It was called "Good Thing," by the Fine Young Cannibals. Of course, it turned out to be from the 1980s and it wasn't Madness nor really related to them (Kind of, actually - two the the Cannibal's members were originally from the Beat, a band who used to tour sometimes with them and whose lead singers laid down vocals for their song "Victoria Gardens") but still a British band. After hearing it on the commercial, and then hearing it on Bob FM once, it came back to me now and then, and tonight I decided to go on YouTube to locate it.

After hearing it I've decided to do a review on it. So here it is:

The song is mostly quite good. The piano and bass work together and form a good instrumentation while Roland's voice is energetic and not dull. While it tends to stay in the same musical keys (on the bass it's a continuous D - F - A - G - D),* it isn't the same all the way because there's a different pattern played at each notable part of the song. And there's a piano-focused bridge. Otherwise the verses and chorus are the same musically. Regardless of this repetitive music the song still strives with energy and there's always something going on. It's fast, it's fun, it sounds good and doesn't stop being exciting. I like it.

Song: B+

It's in my favorites on YouTube now, so I can hear it whenever. I must say, before this all I knew about the Fine Young Cannibals was their song "She Drives Me Crazy." That wasn't bad either. It sounded kind of cool.
It's a good song and I'm happy to hear it again, properly. The music video has a lot of scooters in it. Now I must do a review on a few other songs I've been thinking about these days. I've mentioned them before but I never wrote a review. So I should be doing that soon.

-Justin C.

*The notes above are all guess work. I know the correct frets because I relied on ear and synesthesia to get the proper sound, and when I played it it worked, but my musical notation is kind of rusty, so forgive me if they're wrong. The finger positions are right though.

Google SketchUp VS Google Building Maker

Today I tried my hand at Google's new browser-oriented 3D building maker.


It's supposed to be an easier, faster way of generating 3D buildings for Google Earth. They released it yesterday.


I like SketchUp more.


For one thing, The "Building Maker" is limited to certain locations. I 'built' a model of a building in Vancouver, because Vancouver and Toronto were the only Canadian cities covered under the tool. The rest were U.S. cities and some European ones.


The Building Maker tool is way more inacurate from using SketchUp. Maybe it was my first time using it, but it's basically shaping a building footprint and dimension around a real building from oblique ortho imagery. When the dimensions line up with the building in the photo (and you get a dozen different views from all sides to get each side of the building), you hit 'save' and it automatically saves to the 3D Warehouse, fully built to dimensions, and photo-textured.


Here's my result:




















Not spectacular, no?


Now here's the finished product of a model I created using Google SketchUp, with Streetview imagery serving as my textures:



Is this better-looking or what?


I think, unless you are perfect at this 'Building Maker,' sticking to SketchUp is better. It is more work, but it can be fun making 3D models from scratch, and it's a lot easier now that you can pull imagery off of Streetview to act as textures.


Overall, my general opinion of this 'Building Maker' is that it's for people who are too lazy to make a nice, detailed model of a building. It's for more product-oriented people than for quality-oriented people. People who want to see their cities in 3D faster and easier, regardless of how good the buildings look themselves.


Otherwise, it's not for people like me. I like quality in my work. Not bulk or delivery of product as fast as possible. With 'Building Maker,' you get simple shapes to make your buildings out of. With SketchUp, there's a tonne amount of more flexibility in that you can add parapets, a lower roof or a ramp, or many other building accessories and configurations like a cooling unit on the roof or an add-on. Not a square. A square is boring.


-Justin C.

(Note: Sorry for the huge stupid spaces, this thing sometimes messes things up and I can't fix them).

Friday, October 9, 2009

Photo-texturing with Streetview

One cool new thing about Sketchup (the 3D Modelling software I use to create 3D models of buildings for Google Earth) is that you can import photo textures from streetview imagery.

It's great in that you can get a complete section of building really easily, by just selecting a part of the photo and hitting "grab." It automatically pastes the photo section onto the side of the model, giving it the phototexture.

It bloody beats going out and taking photos of building walls, having to stand far away to get the whole section, and worrying about what people assume you're doing, especaily if those people are watching you from a security camera attached to the building you're trying to model. I was approached by the manager of McDonald's once when the employees noticed me taking photos of the walls of the building to paste on the model. According to him, the property was private and no one, for any reason at all, no matter where they were in the vicinity of the building, could take photos (this included the scenario that if someone were taking a casual photo of someone else in the parking lot nearby and McDonald's showed up in the background, it would violate the privacy). Stupid.

The advantage of taking sections of imagery from Google Streetview is what I described above, but also the vantage point. It's far enough away on a street, and it's high above traffic and obstacles like bushes and people and stuff, so you can get something without parked cars in the way (mostly). The only unavoidable obstacles are trees and poles, or people or things stacked right against the wall.

The one big disadvantage is coverage. Up until yesterday Ottawa wasn't covered with streetview imagery, and now it is. However, I'm referring to the fact that these images are taken from the street and remain taken from the street.

For instance, I've tried texturing Merivale High School, because it's something I've been trying to do for about two years now, maybe three. I tried first with my original digital camera, and got really distorted, awful images that were taken too close and were too bright or blocked. One wall showed up as nothing but green as trees were in front of it. I was too close to the building, my images weren't big enough and the color was off by a lot.

Now, using Streetview imagery, the process took maybe thirty seconds to make a selection in the image taken convieniently across the road, and hit 'grab.' The images didn't look distorted, the color was good and it just looked right and had a lot less obstacles.

But the disadvantages I'm getting at is the fact that images are only taken at the street. I can't pull an image of the back of the building off of Streetview imagery because there's too many trees, it's too far away and it's just not there. The car didn't enter the driveway that runs around the building as it's private, so no imagery could be taken there (it would have been too close anyway). That's the big disadvantage of Streetview imagery. You can't do your house and pull an image of the back of the house off of it because a Streetview car didn't drive into your backyard to take the photo.

That disadvantage is both a great thing and an awful thing. The great thing about it is much more important. The great thing is that the reason the car didn't go there is exactly because of privacy. No way would you want your backyard to show up on Google Streetview on the Internet. Taking images of houses on residential streets is already kind of risky because people could have left their curtains open for the camera to get a clear shot of the interior of their house. If you have a corner lot and your fence is a simple chain-link type, and you have a pool, you wouldn't want a streetview car to drive by on the street while you were taking a dip. A month later and your colleague or friend tells you he saw an image of you in a swim suit in your backyard, courtesy of Google.

So while it's great that you can pull an image off of Streetview to help to build a 3D Model of the building you're doing, it's also good to respect the fact that you can't get everything, because streetview cars can't take photos of everything. They're limited to the street, which is a good thing. Getting the photo of the back yourself is probably the only thing to do, and it also means your decision to decide whether you want to take that photo and use it for your model.

I'm quite happy now that I don't have to go downtown to take very hard to get photos of tall buildings. But I also know and respect that I can only get so much, and that's that.

-Justin C. 

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Flickr and Photography is like visiting a Gallery

It is. People go there and cast their eyes upon the artwork of photographs that were either artfully taken or simply caught in a quick snapshot sort of way, both of which has its merits and taste,


There's one thing about it that bothers me, though. Thing is, people can be really selective of who can see their photos. There's nothing wrong with the privacy aspect of it, but rather the "You have to have your own photos" aspect of it.


For instance, I visited a profile once that stated that the viewer had to have his own photographs and photostream, or else he'd block him from looking at his photos.


That's absurd.


It's quite simply the same as visiting an art gallery and being prohibited to enter because you don't have your own paintings or artwork of sort.


Flickr can be used in two ways: To examine and appreciate the art of other people (in the form of photographs and short video) and to upload your own works of art yourself. You don't have to do one in order to do the other. You can do both or you can do just one of the aspects. It's your call. There shouldn't be silly rules stating that people with profiles had to have their own photos to look at another's photostream, or to favorite their photos. And those rules don't exist; people who have that opinion enforce it themselves.


Luckily, if you don't have a profile on Flickr you can visit any photostream and look at the photos and not worry about being blocked. But the downside is that you can't favorite any photos you like. You need a profile. And with a profile, other users with stupid attitudes can block you if you favorite their photos without having your own.


Anyone can visit my photostream and not worry about being blocked because they don't have photos. That's just a silly attitude. Go ahead and favorite anything, you don't have to have your own photos. I'm game with anything really. I put my material up for people to see and appreciate and favorite if they like them. There's no restrictions here. A lot of people who have profiles on YouTube sometimes have 500 favorited videos and three uploads. That's perfectly fine. Again, it's like a gallery. You're free to look at anything you want and favorite with no stupid "You need this to do that" restriction. People who do that are just fussy and absurd.


(Oh, and did you know that if you click "All Sizes" at the top of a photo, it becomes much bigger?)


-Justin C.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

OH MY GOD!!!! OTTAWA IS IN GOOGLE STREETVIEW!!!!!!!!!

This just boggled my mind - it blew a sprocket. I could not believe it.

I COULD not believe it.

Showing a friend of mine the ability of Google Earth during research class at Algonquin, I said, "they have Streetview on here..." I casually clicked on the streetview icon in Google Earth, not expecting it to work as I didn't think they had streetview in Ottawa yet. I was completely taken off guard and wholly surprised that little camera icons did show up. I clicked on one. I was brought into a panoramic image of the road.

My god.

I clicked out of the image and hurriedly zoomed over to Barrhaven. Maybe they had Streetview over here too. I zoomed in. They did. And to my great astonishment, they had it on my street, a small residential road within a neighborhood of Barrhaven.

I thought they would have only done it on major roads, not little residential streets! I was looking at my own bloody house!!


View Larger Map

It's a good thing the lawn was cut. But the recycle bins should have been inside the garage, not out.

This was crazy. It was hugely crazy. I went elsewhere. I looked at Merivale High School. I saw a few people standing outside that I knew! Now they're on Google Maps, in Streetview!! It's  everywhere! I got to look inside my grandparent's garage! I got to see my own house, both from the front and the back, from Greenbank Road! Geez!

I have a lot more to look. It's just absolutely nuts. I really can't believe it. What was really crazy was that they'd done virtually every street, not just the major ones like Merivale Road, Carling, Woodroffe, etc. They did things from Greenbank Road to residential streets to freaking dead-ends! This is a day for me that rivals the day Microsoft's Bird's Eye view covered Ottawa. I once had wished that Google would do Streetview of Ottawa, and Microsoft do Bird's eye view. Now they've both done it.

It seems that wishes really do come true!

By the way, here's a list of other Canadian cities that have been covered and are available to be seen:

Montreal

Calgary

Halafax

Quebec (City)

Toronto

Vancouver

I really can't believe this. I am so happy and excited. Really. When I told my teacher this during class, everyone heard me and stopped what they were doing to go on Google Maps to check out their houses and stuff on the imagery. The teacher spent half an hour on the site herself until declaring that she couldn't work on the computer anymore, for the thing was too addictive.

She's bloody well right!

-(Very excited) Justin C.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Crazy PhotoStream

Earlier today, entering Flickr without signing in, I noticed something completely different.

A photostream managed by Barack Obama.

I'm not a big guy for politics. I never really read much about them or have much of an interest in them. The most interesting thing I found out in grade ten Civics class years ago was that I was Liberal-minded person.
Not exactly Liberal. Just a nudge to the right, or was it left? I forget.

If it has anything to do with American politics, I'm even less interested. Mostly because I live in the capital city of Canada, and this blog is not called "The Washingtonian." But this interested me. What was the American President doing on Flickr?

Interested (really), I clicked on the link.

There were about 54,000 photos on his photostream.

They went back three years. But I've never ever seen someone have such a huge amount of photos on one stream. Usually, a medium-sized Group on Flickr about a medium-sized city would have that many photos. Not a bloody photostream.

I clicked on the profile. There was a short biography on the President, all written in the first-person, like he'd written it. Geez. In the "Occupation" description, it said "President of the United States of America."

Oh, geez.

How many Flickr profiles have that occupation listed? And like I was going to say, I've never found anyone with that many photos added in only three years (or at all for that manner).

The only conclusion I can draw is that his staff did all this for him. He might have written the profile, but you can bet he had a team upload all those bloody photos. No way he would have done it himself, and besides, just about every photo on his stream is of him. 
While Barack Obama can do many things and no doubt do some astonishing things (such as purchasing a pastry in the Byward Market during his visit to Ottawa), he cannot in any way take a photo of himself twenty metres away while not even holding the camera. Not even in his power as President of a big super-country. It is inhumanly impossible. No one can do it. I'm not even a physicist and I can say that with absolute confidence. I'm a photographer myself and I can prove that I can't do it. Unless the camera has a remote shutter that's triggered by the mind and has wings or a tripod.

Still, that's one crazy find. But it's obvious that he's got at least twenty people doing all that work themselves, with probably hundreds of photographers sending things in.

Still kind of interesting though. And hey - I don't find politics that interesting!

-Justin C.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Baseline Station has been made redundant.

If you aren't familiar with Ottawa, you won't realize that Baseline Station, a major bus station, is named after the major east/west arterial road, which is a road, not a form of musical notation. The big giveaway is the 'base,' not 'bass.'

I really don't know why they named it that. Maybe because, at the time, Baseline Road was so far away from Ottawa when it was constructed it was considered the town limit or 'baseline.' I don't know.

But here's the real plotline (not baseline): They've moved the bus station over. Baseline Station was the very first transit station to be constructed for the transitway in 1980. Now they've moved it immediately west of the current station, to make way for a new Algonquin College building.

I don't like it.

They've officially moved operations to the new station today. And while it's cool and brand new and fancy and actually clean, it's so not as good as the original station.

The old station was better shelter-wise. One long structure ran across the whole station. It was a large, covered, sealed structure that had heat radiators and maps and schedules. In some sections it was a concrete building, with doors. It was more user-compliant. It was nice and big and well-built.

For the new station, there's about four or five little bus shelters clustered at one end of a long long pavement. Normal bus shelters you'd find at any bus stop that can only fit about maybe four or five people.

They're small, open, and redundant. I understand they've probably not finished the station yet (there were no schedules or maps) but they should at least build bigger, proper shelters with doors that are solidly built. The average bus shelters in use now aren't for holding many people nor are they very hospitable.

Another thing was the length. Geez. I entered at the north end, a big mistake. I walked about half a kilometre across pavement to the very end of the station to the stop the 95 stops at, which didn't even have a shelter. Just a wheel rim that supported the flag with the route numbers on it. About twenty people clustered around the barren sidewalk waiting for the bus in the cold wind.

Now this is not what I think you'd find at one of the biggest, most busy bus transit stations in the city. It's not very habitable at all, whereas the old one was very habitable. I thought of it as a big long, solid building really, not as a thin red structure that sat in between the two roadways. Even Fallowfield Station, which is really just a large park and ride, is better. The shelters are bigger, sealed and heated in the winter. They have lights.

I sure hope they still have many things to do and add-on to the new station. The one way it's better than the old station is the position of the roadway - instead of having a station in between two roads going north/south, you have one two-lane road going both directions with the station on either sides (or rather, the little shelters). It's more convienient for the buses to drive straight through the station instead of around it.

So I hope it becomes better over a short time. I don't want to stand out in the wintry winds at a bus station, I want to stand inside a big warm shelter that's well-connected with the rest of them. Right now it's just a large expanse of concrete with a few little glass-walled structures.

Oh yeah. How interesting is it that the year I start college is the year it expands? Algonquin's renovations aren't routine, the most recent thing they've done previously is add a large residence building behind it. Now they're going across the road and doing a whole new wing, complete with a crossover link over Woodroffe so students don't have to wait for a light just to go to class in the other building. They haven't started construction yet. Hell, they haven't started de-construction on the great old solid station. They've just ground up the road leading into it from the transitway. And put a fence around it.

-Justin C.