Currently browsing: New Features

Poll: Which public data do you most want to see on EveryBlock?

Apr182014

One of the things we love most about EveryBlock is the ability to give context and create discussion around public data, and how public data can impact communities in a positive way. It provides a way for citizens to get engaged in their communities, and a system for local governments to be more accountable for the services they provide. Not only do EveryBlock users make city service requests, but they use the data surrounding them to prompt discussions about the state of their neighborhood.

We are constantly working to add new public data sets to the site. In Chicago, available public data includes building permits, business licenses, crime reports, food inspections, and most recently, Open 311 requests. But we’d like to add more, and for that we’re looking for your feedback. The simple question is – what type of data do you feel would be the most useful for the EveryBlock community to know? Street closures? Train status? SNAP locations? Event permits?

Please take our short poll and let us know what you’d most like to see. If we haven’t listed the type of data you’re interested in, feel free to add it as a write-in. The poll is here: http://poll.fm/4qz9a

And, along with taking the poll, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below, via Facebook or Twitter, or on the EveryBlock feedback form. As always, we would love to hear them.

EB Public Records


New Feature: Garage Sale Listings

Apr172014

Just in time for everyone’s spring cleaning (and shopping), we’ve added in neighborhood garage sales, yard sales, moving sales and estate sales listings from Gsalr.com onto the EveryBlock Events page. As with all data, you can view them as part of the overall calendar, or individually by clicking ‘GSALR’ on the Show only menu.

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Share Your EveryBlock Story

Apr152014

We’ve added a new feature on the blog – the ability for users to submit their own tips or stories about EveryBlock. You can share written accounts or Youtube videos.

If you’ve used the site in a positive way and want to let others know how the site helps you and your neighborhood, we’d love for you to share your story! We’d also love to hear any tips you might have on how to use and explore EveryBlock. You’ll see we’ve already received a few stories from EveryBlock users, which are posted in the ‘Community Comments’ section of the blog.

Through EveryBlock, we’ve seen several examples of community building, lost and found pets, solutions to city service issues, and more, all completely generated by you, for the benefit of your neighbors and neighborhoods. Even if it’s something as simple as finding a good plumber recommendation, or discovering a new activity from EveryBlock, we’d love to hear it. In addition, new users are joining the site every day, so your tips and stories will be valuable to them as they experience the site and community for the first time.

Click the Share Your Story link on the blog to start. Then, just add your name, email, a title (ex: Why I Use EveryBlock), and your story. If you’re just giving a comment, select ‘Community Comments’ for the category. If you’re giving advice or tips, select ‘EveryBlock Tips’.

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Open311 Data on EveryBlock

Apr082014

When it comes to public data, EveryBlock encourages and participates in Civic Tech collaboration. As such, we’re very excited to begin featuring data from Chicago Open311, which comes directly from the Chicago 311 City Services Department. Like all data on EveryBlock, users can choose to have service requests featured on their timeline, or view only them by using the show only menu.

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Types of service requests include potholes, graffitti, abandoned vehicles, rodent baiting and building violations. So when questions arise on EveryBlock about city service problems getting reported, or a call to action to report problems, you can easily access the information needed to report them.

Because of the sheer number of service requests in Chicago, we cannot display all of them on EveryBlock. For the time being, we only show the subset of service requests that have attached photos.

EB Open 311 sample page

We’ve partnered with ChicagoWorksForYou, a project of the Smart Chicago Collaborative, in what we hope will be the first of many partnerships that showcase how public information can and should be utilized. On ChicagoWorksForYou, you can view aggregate data on the frequency and location of Open311 service requests as well as a gallery of photos. For example, you can view a bar chart of reported potholes last week in the city, grouped by ward, as well as an explanation how the city handles potholes and pothole reports. It’s great data to use to find trends, like which problems are most common in specific areas of the city.

Chicago Works For You

More information about how we source our Open311 services is available here.

If you work with the Open311 service request datasets, we’d love to hear about it, along with any other comments you might have. Please let us know in the comments below, or via our feedback form.

 

 


EveryBlock Widget Center

Mar242014

Do you like EveryBlock feeds and want to put them on your own site? Take a look at our Widget Center, which has embeddable widgets for Neighborhood Events, Crime Reports, Food Inspections, and many more to come.

It’s easy to add the Widgets to your own blog or web site. Simply click on ‘Add Now’ for the Widget you’d like to display, and the embed code will pop right up.

We’re working on adding new datasets for Widgets. If you have any suggestions, please let us know at our Feedback Form.

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Chicago Public Library Events on EveryBlock

Mar202014

Quick update – events from the Chicago Public Library are now included on EveryBlock, and are viewable from the Events tab of your homepage.

You can display them individually by clicking the ‘show only’ button, and then selecting Chicago Public Library.

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EveryBlock Mute Button

Feb122014

We’ve made the Mute button more prominent on EveryBlock messages and comments, so it’s easier to hide users.

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Muting a user means you’ll never see messages or comments by them again, either on the site or in email digests. The user will not know you’ve done this.You can undo this in the future by visiting your preferences page.


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