Launch: OpenGrid at the UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory

Today I helped launch OpenGrid— a free, browser-based, open source mapping platform displaying Chicago’s robust collection of open datasets.

Daniel X. O'Neil at UIC EVL. Photo by Lance Long, UIC/EVL

Here’s a set of photos I took:

My role was to take part in the conceptual model of OpenGrid, working with City technology officials to plan the work, and help manage the work of the Smart Chicago tech consultant, Uturn Data Solutions.

Here’s a snip from the launch coverage in the Harvard Data-Smart City Solutions piece on the launch:

“A collaborative union between developers, residents, and government – that’s what Smart Chicago is about, and that’s what OpenGrid is about too,” O’Neil noted at the application’s launch. “This is why we’re on it.”  To build the service layer, Smart Chicago commissioned UTurn Data Solutions, a local IT consultancy focused data storage and Cloud computing projects.

Presentation: The Inefficacy of Dots on Maps at Chi Hack Night

Tonight I gave a few remarks at Chi Hack Night #188: Introducing Open Grid. Take a look at the original source video or see the snip below.

Here’s how Chris Hagan of WBEZ covered these remarks in his article, “Chicago launches OpenGrid, latest step in making open data more accessible“:

Dan O’Neil, executive director of the Smart Chicago Collaborative, which assisted on the project, reminded developers that tools such as OpenGrid are a first step. He pointed out that despite Chicago’s advances in open data, problems such as police misconduct have arguably gotten worse.

“There are no dots on a map that stopped that from happening,” O’Neil said. “There is no set of crime statistics that stopped that from happening. We have to find ways to have communion with people who are not here.”

Communion is what matters.

Launch: Chicago School of Data Project

Today at Smart Chicago we launched the Chicago School of Data Project. Here’s a snip:

Smart Chicago Collaborative is leading an effort to document and map the landscape of data activity in Chicago— the entities, tasks, companies, enterprises, civil service organizations, and others who make up the field.

It seems to us that there is a Chicago School of Data emerging—one that places data at the service of the people—but this emergence has been under-described and unshaped.

We’re doing broad outreach via phone, email, and in-person presentations to make our research and our event as comprehensive as possible. You may have been contacted about this this by one of these methods. Please complete this form so you can be included in our work and keep getting information, including details on our Chicago School of Data Days on September 19 -20, 2014.

 

 

Radio: Discussion on WBEZ’s Morning Shift re: Data Journalism and the Civic Innovation in Chicago Project

This morning I participated in a discussion about the launch of Smart Chicago Collaborative’s Civic Innovation in Chicago project on WBEZ:

Bonus: Dolly Varden!

I also wrote a companion blog post talking about the importance of including as many Chicago residents as possible in civic innovation.

Click here for sound file if embed link is broken.

Excerpts from Data Journalism Conversation on WBEZ Morning Shift With Tony Sarabia, January 16, 2013 from Daniel X. O’Neil on Vimeo.

Additional bonus: video!

Del Mar 1976 by Dolly Varden in Studio at WBEZ Morning Shift With Tony Sarabia, January 16, 2013 from Daniel X. O’Neil on Vimeo.

Launch: Early Childhood Portal for City of Chicago

Today marked the launch of ChicagoEarlyLearning.org,

Here’s some snips from the press release from the Mayor’s Office:

As part of the his administration’s focus on increasing access to quality early learning programs for children across the city and emphasis on helping parents get and stay involved in their children’s education, Mayor Rahm Emanuel today launched a new online Early Leaning Portal, www.chicagoearlylearning.org. The portal is an easy-to-use, interactive website that puts information about hundreds of quality early learning programs across the city all in one place.

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“We were happy to collaborate with the City on this interactive map, which will allow parents and families to find information about these programs easily and quickly. We’re interested in hearing from parents and caregivers on what would make the site more useful to them,” said Dan O’Neil, Executive Director of the Smart Chicago Collaborative. “We’re also releasing the code for the site as open source, so that it can be used to make similar map-based sites showing resources across the city.”

“Our focus is on making sure children are ready to learn when they enter kindergarten. M.K. and I share Mayor Emanuel’s strong commitment to providing high-quality early learning for infants, toddlers and their families,” said J.B. Pritzker, president of the J.B. & M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation. “Helping Chicago parents and caregivers identify the best early childhood educational opportunities in their neighborhoods is critically important. This online interactive, one-stop shop will help parents and caregivers access and better manage the challenging process of selecting a high-quality early learning program for their infants and toddlers.”

Here’s the code that drives the site.

Chicago Early Learning
Chicago Early Learning web site.
Presenting the Early Childhood Portal as 37th Ward Alderman Emma Mitts Looks On
Presenting the Early Childhood Portal as 37th Ward Alderman Emma Mitts Looks On

Here’s a spot on CBS about the site:

LAUNCH: AldermanicWebsites.com

Today I launched a politics/ design/ technology/ humor site called AldermanicWebsites.Here’s the launch post (Comparing Aldermanic Hopefuls Online) and two snippets:

Here’s something I worked on over Christmas vacation: AldermanicWebsites. It is a fun/ manic little Web site that “contains links to and reviews of the Web sites, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and other Web referencia for each of the 349 people who filed nominating petitions to run for Alderman in one of the cities wards.”*I like the Analysis best– so far I’ve got five posts there, covering everything from good stars and bad stars to remarkable sites and popular Web development platforms. And you’ve realy got to view source to see anything.

Here’s the About page with a snip about the technology reviews:

Chicago Board of Election Commissioners LogoIf you’re interested examples in particular technologies used by particular candidates, the Quick-See pulldown menu is your best bet.For instance, you can see all candidates using the WordPress Web development platform, all candidates using PayPal to collect contributions, or everyone who uses Contact Contact to send out mass emails.Same goes for wards– just choose the ward your interested in (the 24th is super-lively) and you’ll see all candidates. The Ward list is in alphabetical order (when the ward number is spelled out). That’s a little goofy, I know– what can I say; I have limited skills.

Here’s some coverage:Gapers Block: Comparing Aldermanic Hopefuls Online

There are 349 candidates for alderman in this election, with varying levels of web savvy. AldermanicWebsites helps sort through them all. Unsurprisingly, a certain star makes a lot of appearances.

Progress Illinois: Council Candidates On The Web, Facebook, Twitter, And More

AldermanicWebsites.com is a new hub tracking the web-based battle for Chicago’s City Council. Courtesy of internet developer and writer Dan X. O’Neil, the site offers an easy way to comb through the online output of hundreds of candidates who submitted nominating petitions to run for one of Chicago’s 50 council seats. You’ll find links to the candidates’ websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and what O’Neill calls “other Web referencia.” There are reviews and discussions of their digital production too — check out O’Neil’s thoughts on the star imagery on the prospective council member pages — and a link to a set of photographs of the front page of each aldermanic candidate’s site. Browsing through those front pages is a useful way to learn how council candidates are defining the issues their communities face, where they think incumbent council members have fallen short, and why voters should trust them to do a better job.