Smart Chicago seeded the Chicago version of LocalWiki in partnership with the Chicago Public Library in an effort to feature local authors, books about Chicago, and publish more information about Chicago’s rich history.
LocalWiki is a hyperlocal wikipedia designed to let anyone edit and update information about their city. LocalWiki Chicago is a part of our CivicWorks project, funded by the Chicago Community Trust and the Knight Foundation. It supports one of our key outcomes— the acceleration of application developments that enhance the provision of more effective public services.
To kick off the project, Smart Chicago contracted local writer Mairead Case generated the initial content for the site including:
- Pages on each Chicago Public Library locations, and neighborhood areas
- Create pages for local authors and books set in Chicago, and
locations of historical or cultural significance and create content for those pages
- Create detailed content for a number of Chicago neighborhood areas.
Smart Chicago will also host two write-a-thon events to give residents the opportunity to write about their neighborhoods on LocalWiki.
Since first opening its doors to the public in 1873, the Chicago Public Library has maintained its status of one of the City’s most democratic of institutions — providing all Chicagoans with a free and open place to gather, learn, connect, read and be transformed.
The more than 70 locations of the Chicago Public Library are at the forefront of providing innovative library services, technologies and tools Chicagoans need to achieve their personal goals and to establish the City’s role as a competitive force in the global marketplace.
LocalWiki started in 2004 as the Davis Wiki, an experimental project to collect and share interesting information about the town of Davis, California.It soon became the world’s largest and most vibrant community wiki.
LocalWiki is now working to help as many communities as possible realize the full potential of such an amazing, collaborative information resource. You can find more information about LocalWiki on their website and on Twitter at @localwiki.
To generate the initial content, Smart Chicago hired Mairead Case. Mairead is a writer and doctoral student at the University of Denver, and was formerly the volunteer director of youth poetry group Louder Than a Bomb.
One of the goals of the LocalWiki site is to get residents involved in documenting the rich history of their own neighborhoods. The Localwiki platform makes it easy for anyone to get involved in editing their city.