Urban Apps and Maps in Philadelphia

Aug062014

Nice to see the continued civic tech engagement in the city of brotherly love. From Philly.com:

PHILLY’S UNDER a new kind of neighborhood watch thanks to an app developed by high school students.

Eleven high school students in Temple University’s Urban Apps and Maps Studios’ Building Information Technology Skills summer program have developed a Web-based app called “Gotcha,” which allows the public to post crimes they’ve seen in the city.

Read More: http://articles.philly.com/2014-08-05/news/52476366_1_app-users-web-based-app-high-school-students


GovLoop: Lessons Learned to Create the Open GIS Platform

Aug052014

Great article from GovLoop on GIS data (used heavily for the location features on EveryBlock) and how city GIS departments have expertise beyond mapping: they’re usually pretty good at managing large data sets, too.

In our latest GovLoop guideOpen Data and GIS: Better Understanding Our World, we explore a crucial element of the open data movement: geographic information systems (GIS). Time and again, we have seen how GIS facilitates government to visualize, question, analyze, interpret and understand data, and reveal complex relationships, patterns and trends.

But at the Esri DC R&D Center, a talented team is looking at ways to not only leverage the power of GIS, but also open data. The Esri DC R & D Center is focused on creating, designing and developing cutting edge web applications to make GIS more accessible and help drive better public sector decisions.

Read More: http://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/lessons-learned-to-create-the-open-gis-platform


How committed are the G7 countries to open data?

Aug042014

Interesting piece from the Sunlight Foundation, which has ranked the G7 countries based on their commitment to Open Data.

While the G7 (previously G8) countries pledged to make data “open by default” and “usable by all” last summer, many of their open data action plans show hesitations and difficulties to guarantee their data will be free of charge.

Sunlight has been following the development of the G8 Open Data Charter since it was signed. G8 Leaders agreed to follow five open data principles and publish their own national action plans detailing how to implement the Charter. Four countries failed to launch their plans by the deadline of October 2013, and Germany has still yet to release its plan — now nine months delayed.

Read More: http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2014/07/28/g8-open-data-charter-action-plan-open-data-by-default-but-you-may-have-to-pay-for-it/


Popular in Chicago: August Edition

Aug012014

Happy August! Hope everyone had a good week. Here are some of the happening threads on EveryBlock Chicago for the week.

A new Netflix series is being filmed in Ravenswood.

Watch out for skunks. And rats. And coyotes.

You know where to donate clothing, baby formula – this week, scrap metal.

Poll: Do you feel safe on the CTA?

Finally, What is the puppet bike?

Have a great weekend everyone!


Data Into Dollars: SpotCrime Maps Crime Data

Jul302014

Interesting article from Socrata on a crime data aggregator called SpotCrime, which utilizes open data to provide users with information via multiple platforms. The service also layers the data in the case of multiple law enforcement agencies working on the same problem (i.e. local police, campus police, transit police).

When Colin Drake’s GPS was stolen from his car, a little lightbulb went off in his head. The incident got him thinking about crime and its connection to geography. He spoke to Socrata about crime data, location, and mapping.

“I had a police report to show that the car had been broken into, but I wanted to see where it happened, and if my neighbors had reported similar incidents,” Drake says. So, seven years ago, Drake started mapping the crimes he found reported in his local newspaper. At the time, that was the best way to get crime data quickly.

Read More: http://www.socrata.com/blog/data-dollars-spotcrime/


New in Chicago: Bike Parking Request Map

Jul282014

Interesting use of OpenPlans Shareabout software in Chicago: requests for bike parking. Some cool stuff being done with geolocation and civic tech.

Chicago DOT recently launched a new bike parking requests website, using Shareabouts. It’s a neat project, and bike parking requests are flooding in.

Beyond being a neat example of responsive government, the project is also a great case study for how we work at OpenPlans.

Read more: http://blog.openplans.org/2014/07/the-openplans-way/


Popular in Chicago: July 25th

Jul252014

Happy Friday! Here are some of the week’s happening threads on EveryBlock.

Extension of the Brown Line Project – Discussion.

The last few weeks was clothing, this week, learn where to donate baby formula.

Rooster on the loose in Rogers Park

Building on corner of California and Altgeld – What was it?

Three Things You’d Like To See In Andersonville

Lots of stores leaving the west side of Lincoln Ave – Thoughts on why.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

 


Using Civic Tech to help with City Zoning

Jul222014

Great piece from Government Technology on a civic tech tool that helps entrepreneurs, real estate developers, and city planners speed up the zoning inquiry process.

For cities hailing businesses to bolster tax revenues, the courtship can be paradoxical. Cities launch campaigns, initiatives and incentives, only to bury potential prospects in tangles of regulatory paperwork and planning regulation. The process can be deal-breaking.

To ease the burden on officials, required to regulate, and on business owners, who must navigate city codes, one civic tech startup has released a new question-and-answer tool that maps open zoning areas based on an applicant’s interests. The tool, called ZoningCheck, comes fromOpenCounter, a Code for America Accelerator company and Knight Foundation grant recipient.

Read more: http://www.govtech.com/local/Cities-Use-Civc-Tech-Tool-that-Maps-Zoning-Codes-for-Potential-Businesses.html


Digital initiative to expand help for military veterans

Jul212014

The Knight Foundation recently wrote about a site called The Wait We Carry, which uses open data to help people learn about the wait times that veterans endure to get medical services. The site, created by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), also allows people to learn about specific veterans and to connect with them. With a new $500,000 grant from The Knight Foundation, future plans include developing a digital ecosystem with new data and information projects, as well as making the site into an open-source visualization tool that other groups can use.

Read more about The Wait We Carry: http://www.knightfoundation.org/blogs/knightblog/2014/7/16/digital-initiative-expand-help-military-veterans/


Site Maintenance Update

Jul212014

Update: The site is back online and fully functional as of 12:00 p.m.

EveryBlock site maintenance work is still ongoing. We will notify you when we are fully back online. Thank you for your continued patience!


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