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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New in Chicago: Bike Parking Request Map


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:

Popular in Chicago: July 25th


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


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:

Digital initiative to expand help for military veterans


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:

Site Maintenance Update


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!

Popular In Chicago: July 18th


Happy Friday! Here are some of the happening threads on EveryBlock this week:

Don’t get ticketed - learn the rules for street cleanings.

Bicyclists in Lakeview

Places to donate clothing: click here and here for ideas.

New to Bucktown? Welcome!

Please let people exit the train before boarding.

And finally, for laughs only.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Site Maintenance


EveryBlock will be down for site maintenance starting Saturday, July 19th at 9 p.m. EST, and will be back online on Sunday, July 20th.

We appreciate your patience, and thank you for continuing to be a part of the EveryBlock community.

New Open Data Sets in Chicago


Open Data fans rejoice! (And beachgoers, taxi riders, and affordable broadband supporters.) There are some new datasets on the City of Chicago Data Portal.

The City of Chicago has released a handful of new datasets which pertain to several parts of daily life in Chicago. The public will be able to explore the water quality at Chicago beachesfind who and which vehicles are licensed to carry passengers, activities for Chicago’s Micro-Market Recovery Program, and the geographic areas targeted by the City’s Broadband Innovation Challenge.

Read more:

Socrata launches the Open Data Network


Great news from Socrata on their effort to increase the creation and consumption of open data, to benefit cities, citizens, and the economy.

Socrata (, a Seattle-based cloud software company focused exclusively on democratizing access to government data, today announced the launch of the Open Data Network, which will unleash the full potential of government data and help drive sustained prosperity in connected communities all over the world.

Bringing together a vast and connected ecosystem of participants – governments that are open data publishers and consumers; businesses that incorporate and use government data; citizens; and civic developers and entrepreneurs who use open data to build service delivery apps – the Open Data Network will encompass 25-30 industries, each with its own unique and valuable data set.

Read more:

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