Building on the work with CPS Apples to Apples, I joined forces with Chicago's Open Data Institute to help shine a light on the real data around Chicago Public Schools anticipated historically large number of school closings. The data is being used by parents and community groups to ask targeted, educated questions about the schools on the closing and receiving lists, and to educate parents about how District policy affects their local school's staffing, class sizes, etc. Some of the data being visualized exists in disconnected sites, some of it has had to be "liberated" from PDF's in order to be used. The team is hoping to extend its work at some point into a project called SchoolCircles, a site that will help public school parents in Chicago (and with code that can be repurposed for other districts) understand the data that affects their schools (budgets, staffing, student performance and mobility, utilization) more completely, as well as quickly run "what if" scenarios for how proposed changes to district policy would affect their specific school.
Interested in the Chicago zoning ordinance? No? Well then, how about Sim City 2000, the classic computer game cherished by millions? You love it? Well have we got an app for you! [more inside]
Robust data on individual CPS (Chicago Public Schools) schools is often difficult to locate and almost impossible to compare between schools. Although this data is used to make important decisions at the student family level (what school to apply to?) and the district level (which schools to close?), there are few resources that allow open government groups to easily access and use the data in formats that would allow them to educate the public and increase transparency and understanding. So I decided to tackle some of it, unpaid and on my own time as a CPS parent, in a project that I'm calling "Apples to Apples." I get the data out of PDFs and up into Google Fusion. And open gov groups, parents and journalists get to use it.
A data visualization that lets you explore crime trends in Chicago's 50 wards. It was built using open data about Chicago crimes released by the Chicago Police Department. We also created make a poster using the same data. [more inside]
Textizen is an open-source platform for collecting citizen feedback via text message. Holding in-person meetings can be expensive, time-consuming, and often results in non-representative feedback. Working with the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, my team at Code for America decided to build a better way to connect citizens to their city. Now, all residents and community members need is a few spare moments and a cell phone that supports text messages (~92% of Philadelphia households). In a city where 43 percent of residents don’t have internet access at home, we see text messaging and other mobile technologies as critical doorways to digital citizen participation. Do you see a use for Textizen in your community? Get it in touch with us on Twitter, or at Textizen.com. Developers can join us on GitHub, where we’ll continue to develop the Textizen code. Textizen in one animated minute [more inside]
Chicago Lobbyists is an opengov project that visualizes all lobbyists interactions/activities with the City of Chicago in 2010. Each lobbyist has a profile (example: Ronald Johnson) listing all their clients, how much they were paid, what they charged as expenses, and what actions they sought in front of city agencies (City Council, Community Development, etc). [more inside]
There are more than 14,000 reports of vacant and abandoned buildings in Chicago. Where are they? What is their status? Who is responsible? This building finder explores the data retrieved from the City of Chicago and attempts to answer these questions. [more inside]
A budget transparency visualization for Cook County, IL (Chicago's county) displaying all county departments broken down by fund and control officer from 1993 to 2011. Done as a collaboration with Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey. [more inside]