OpenGov Hack Night: Go2School and Business License Data

This is a new weekly feature that will highlight what’s happening at the Chicago OpenGov Hack Night. TheChicago OpenGov Hack Nights are weekly events where technologists and community members come together to work with open data and build tools that improve the civic experience. The events, run by Derek Eder and Juan-Pablo Velez, are held at 6:00 pm each Tuesday at 1871. As a founding member of 1871, the Smart Chicago Collaborative is proud to be able to provide space for this each week. 

This Week’s Presentation: GoToSchool by Tom Kompare

This week’s presentation is from Tom Kompare and his current app-in-progress GoToSchool. The app is help parents find directions to their kids school during those first few chaotic weeks. Tom is currently building the app hoping to have it released by the start of the next school year.

To use it, simply find your school by typing in the search bar. The app will try and help you by pulling up matching schools as you search. Once you select your school, you can state when you want to be there. Do you need to grab your kids after work? Plan for tomorrow morning? After you state when you need to be there, the app gives you three options on how you want to get there: walking, CTA/Metra, or by driving. It even gives you the number to call in case your kid is sick and can’t be at school.

The app is hosted on the Smart Chicago Collaborative servers and will be one of the first apps taking part in Civic User Testing.

Here’s how it works:

  • The site also uses Twitter bootstrap to make building the appearance of the app easier.
  • Tom used two separate data sets from CPS and placed those into Google Fusion Tables. The first is the school schedule and the second is school location data.
  • Transit directions are delivered through the Google Places API

Current Issues:

The app is still in development and has a couple of issues.

Civic Developers and Designers! You Can Help Improve this app!

  • You can check out the app and submit pull request on the apps’ GitHub repository.

Dataset of the Week: Business License Data

This weeks’ dataset of the week is business license data. See that new construction across from your work? You can use the city’s business license data to pull up information on what is going into it. The city’s also built views that sort the data into different categories. For example, they have a view of the data that filters out everything but liquor licenses. You can turn that view into a heat map that where they are.

Socrata has a number of features that make exploring and viewing data easier. Once you register with the data.cityofchicago.org site you can make your own views and save them for later use.

Join us!

Are you interested in open data and civic innovation? Have something cool you’d like to show us? Register for the next OpenGov Hack Night here!