Honorary Chicago at OpenGov Hack Night

On Tuesday, August 5, 2014, Linda Zabors of Honorary Chicago talked about her experience mapping out Chicago’s brown honorary street signs with Honorary Chicago.  Smart Chicago’s Christopher Whitaker captured the  entire presentation– see it after the jump or on our YouTube channel.


Honorary Street Sign for The Cool Gent, Photo by Flickr user Jessi

The ubiquitous brown street signs are placed to honor Chicago residents and require passage by the Chicago City Council.

Below the fold, Zabors talks about the work she’s done mapping out the streets signs and researching their biographies of who these honorees are.

Zabors started the project after noticing that there wasn’t a place where you could find information on the street signs, who they were, or what they did to be honored. Zabors began to research and build her own database of every honorary street sign in Chicago.

Zabors started gathering lists from various sources and clearing up the data. Many of the names in her dataset were misspelled or had incorrect geographic information. For example, one location has 2800 W California, despite California running north and south.

Using Derek Eder’s Searchable Map Template, Zabors starting mapping out her data. She then used the Chicago Councilmatic website to search through the ordinances that created the street signs.

Once the project was finished, Zabors put all the information in the book “Honorary Chicago” which you can buy on Amazon now! She’s also started to give tours as well. You can find out more about her work at her website http://honorarychicago.com/