Resources and Reading Toward a Digital City

One of our programs is Connect Chicago, a loose network of more than 250 places where you can use a computer for free. It is a central part of our work around both access to the Internet and digital skills.

I also serve as the chair the of the Eliminate the Digital Divide Advisory Committee of the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development Eliminate the Digital Divide Grant Program.

In measuring the impact of the work of Connect Chicago members, we spend a lot of time gathering research. Here’s a look at some of the publications we look to for guidance.

Digital Citizenship: The-Internet society and Participation

Digital Citizenship: The-Internet society and Participation

Continue reading

Twitter Bot Helps Chicago Officials Find Dirty Restaurants (Popular Science)

Twitter Bot Helps Chicago Officials Find Dirty Restaurants. Snip:

The Chicago Department of Public Health’s Twitter bot, plus a new online complaint form, helped the department identify 133 restaurants for inspections over a 10-month period. Twenty-one of those restaurants failed inspection and 33 passed with “critical or serious” violations. Not a bad haul.

Read the full article here.

Tweets Identify Food Poisoning Outbreaks – Scientific American

In Chicago monitoring Twitter for reports of food poisoning led to 133 restaurant inspections for health violations, with 21 establishments shut down. Dina Fine Maron reports.

During a 10-month stretch last year, staff members at the health agency responded to 270 tweets about “food poisoning.” Based on those tweets, 193 complaints were filed and 133 restaurants in the city were inspected. Twenty-one were closed down and another 33 were forced to fix health violations. That’s according to a study in the journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.[Jenine K. Harris et al, Health Department Use of Social Media to Identify Foodborne Illness — Chicago, Illinois, 2013–2014]

Foodborne Chicago on EXCLUSIVE: Foodborne illness in the age of Twitter

Here’s an article in a leading industry magazine about Foodborne Chicago. Snip:

An added benefit for public health agencies is that FoodBorne Chicago is an open-source framework, which will enable other health departments adopt the application free of charge, Harris said. Richardson said the cost of developing the FoodBorne Chicago program was “minimal between staff time and a few nominal costs for the server, the URL and things like that.”

Funding Civic Technology | Data-Smart City Solutions

Funding Civic Technology: A Look at the SmartChicago Collaborative Mode

Read here. Snip:

Such operations show how SmartChicago’s model depends on each founding partner’s unique assets. DoIT, in addition to its federally-funded initiatives, provides a wealth of city data via its open data portal that fuels SmartChicago’s civic tech projects. As host for the organization, CCT provides a home and community-driven pulpit for SmartChicago. MacArthur, meanwhile, sustains crucial SmartChicago initiatives and investments that help create and maintain a strong civic tech network.