Knight-Mozilla Fellows take on era of ‘no excuses,’ public data demands


Great article from the Knight Foundation on the work that Knight-Mozilla Fellows are doing on public data analysis – and making that data accessible and understandable for everyone.

In newsrooms around the globe, data experts are embracing daily challenges from their ever-demanding, increasingly info-savvy audience.

The third class of Knight-Mozilla OpenNews Fellows is developing solutions to these demands in seven newsrooms: Internews in Kenya, La Nacion, The New York Times,  ProPublica, The Texas Tribune and The Washington Post. Each fellow creates tools that empower journalists and citizens to access complicated relationships hidden in the untouched stacks of data and research. Mozilla initiated the program in 2010, and Knight Foundation has supported it since 2011.

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Updated Events Engine on EveryBlock


Quick update – we’ve recently expanded the events engine in EveryBlock to include many new sources, such as EventBrite, Ticketleap, and Google Calendar. As always, events are customized and displayed based on the locations that you follow. You can view EveryBlock Chicago Events here:

Popular in Chicago: August 15th Edition


Happy Friday! Here are some of the happening conversations on EveryBlock Chicago this week.

Have your say – What is the best coffee in Chicago?

A tilted tree on Lawrence Ave.

What does one do with spare wood?

The P-Street Designation for 33rd Ward Business Strips 

Where to get the best Italian beef in the city?

Volunteer opportunities in Logan Square.

Have a great weekend!

Connecting with neighbors to help solve problems


There’s a nice little article on the Chicago Now site that describes one the benefits of forums like EveryBlock: tapping into neighborhood knowledge to help solve problems.

It’s no secret that I have been working non stop for the last two months. Last Wednesday night I mustered up a little energy to go for a power walk in my neighborhood. I was a mile from home when I ran into two boys.

They proudly showed me the kitten they found. Being a cat lover, I stopped to pet the cat. I noticed the shaved belly indicating that it had spayed. I figured it was newly adopted from a shelter. I asked the boys were they found the cat and what they were going to do with it.

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Popular in Chicago: August 8th Edition


Happy Friday! Here are some of the happening threads on EveryBlock Chicago for the week.

When are Divvy stations coming to Rogers Park?

Thinking of moving to Bronzeville? Read what it’s like.

Metra vs. The Red Line

Local barbershop recommendations: here and here.

To Portage Park gardeners: What’s blooming right now?

Finally, there’s a turtle on the loose in Jefferson Park.

Have a great weekend!

Urban Apps and Maps in Philadelphia


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

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.

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GovLoop: Lessons Learned to Create the Open GIS Platform


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.

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How committed are the G7 countries to open data?


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.

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Popular in Chicago: August Edition


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


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.

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