Locate outdoor power outlets
Plugfinder is a website that helps people find electricity outlets in the city, and encourages them to do some activities using them ("Charge your cell phone, cook food on a hotplate, project slides onto a building, or maybe install an inflatable sculpture"). As the FAQ says:
"Why map out electricity outlets?
A: Lots of reasons:
1. Gives people an excuse to walk outside AND visit parts of the city they have never gone to before. We just covered essential public health and economic initiatives in one swoop. Bam! 2. InfoNomads always need a quick burst of electricity to charge up there gear. Your city WANTS to attract the creative class, right? If your city is smart, you'll get corporations to freely give out electricity on the street as part of Payment in Lieu Taxes (PILOT) plans. 3. Making electricity outlets public has all kinds of positive unintended consequences: think about the reduced property damage when kids can project their graffiti rather than put it on the wall with all those awful chemicals. 4. It'll make your city more interactive. Thats cool right? Like Archigram envisioned, but more diffuse and street level. 5. Democracy requires communication. Communication increasingly happens with ICT. ICT requires electricity. Democracy requires electricity? 6. Don't take my word for it. You'll probably only listen when the venture capital starts to roll in, anyways. This is America after all."
Why do I blog this? Electricity is more and more an important resource when you're outdoor, especially when traveling. Although certain commodities like water (toilets, and sometimes WiFi) are made free on the street, electricity is scarcely made available (even in public places such as airport, train station). Moreover, I like the contrast of having external/outdoor power plugs and the possibility of rain.
Therefore, I find Plugfinder more interesting because of what it reveals (the need to get access to electricity, and the assumptions made by the designer for how it can be useful) than the real service it provides so far.