#CodeAcrossNYC 2014 wrap up

BetaNYC’s 1st class photo by Daniel Wilson

What an amazing weekend! On friday, TechPresident wrote about digital engagement starting to be the new normal in NY City Council and City Hall. Just one day later, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Council member Ben Kallos, Council member Mark Levine, five representatives from Community Boards, NYC DoITT, and NYC 311 joined one hundred of NYC’s civic hacker community to make NYC’s open data useful.

#CodeAcrossNYC 2014 was a two day prototype-athon taking NYC’s open government data and making it useful for NY City Council, their staff, and NYC’s Community Boards. In partnership with the Manhattan Borough President’s office, several City Council members and Community Boards, now is the time to make NYC’s open data useful for all. This was our second #CodeAcrossNYC.

Our desired outcomes for Code Across NYC 2014 were:

  • Create tools that help city council members and community boards understand the City’s open data.
  • Prototype tools and dashboards for NY City Council and their staff.
  • Prototype tools and dashboards for NYC Community Boards.
  • Expose NYC’s civic hacker community to City Council Members, Council Staff, Community Board Members, and NYPD Precinct Community Councils.

With this in mind, about 20 projects were created, and these were the 12 projects that were judged.

  • 2Gather: Transportation Help shape your scheduling and meeting needs as well as other’s using active MTA/NYCOpen Data. Get to your meetings and activities on time, relieve transport capacity issues, meet people safely on time.
  • Choose-A-High-School NYCEvery year 80,000 middle-school students and their families choose a high school to attend. This is an application to help students find schools based on their life and experience goals, public transportation commute time, and school curriculum offerings.
  • City Visualization: The community board can use the map to understand and create disaster resiliency plans. And strategize about community resources.
  • Emrals
    With City budgets getting pinched, municipalities have fewer resources to respond to concerns quickly. Emrals.com makes it possible for people to use their smartphones to address issues such as trash and icy sidewalks quickly and easily. With our site, you can report a problem, verify a problem or fix a problem. For instance, your elderly neighbor is afraid to leave the building due to the ice and snow covering the sidewalk.
    You report the problem to Emrals using your smart phone and take a picture of the sidewalk. Your location is automatically entered via GIS. Other people can then verify that the reported issue does exist. A verifier or another good citizen can then fix the problem, showing work and results using their smart phone, and earn Emrals, a civic cryptocurrency, for helping the community.
    Emrals makes it easy to be Good for the Hood.
  • noisyNYCWhen decided where to move to in NYC I thought it would be great to visualize which areas in NYC have the most noise complaints. The project has evolved to visualizing all sorts of data from the 311 data set along with the ability to accept user data.
  • NYC Parks N Rec: We are building a web app that helps people find parks and facilities in NYC. The goal is to promote health and wellness in the community and encourage exploration of recreational activities and the outdoors
  • Post to 311 NYC (a.k.a. P.2.311 NYC)P.2.311 NYC is a bootleg, completely unsupported open311 API layer built on top of the existing NYC 311 complaint form. This API makes it easy to embed context-relevant NYC 311 complaint forms on your own web site or in mobile apps. May also include a very crude true “real-time” stream of requests or the ability to add metadata like pics/audio/video to requests.
  • Property Tax Explorer Map: A web map to explore property data (amount paid, property value, tax rate) across NYC.
  • Relief Insight Marketplace Info: We are a group of volunteers interested in promoting disaster resilience. Our project tonight is to communicate and design our open disaster resilience marketplace. We are an open data source.
  • Tammany: Tammany is a constituent services management tool for organizations, elected officials, community boards and agencies. Our tool allows caseworkers to easily handle cases through the issue life cycle by creating a case form, tracking progress, and sending automatic updates to constituents. Our tool enables collaboration within offices—a newsfeed allows caseworkers to update progress and notes. Tammany generates issue analytics allowing government offices to identify trends and plan progressively.
  • Trends: Community Board Email App: This tool will inform New York City Community Boards and residents about local issues. Boards will have new access to information that will enable them to set agenda based on data. Board members and residents will receive an e-mail summary and snapshots of local recent 311 complaints.
  • VoxyVote: Power up your civics journey! Take quizzes, watch videos & play games to earn points, badges, bragging rights & more! 

For our first time, we handed out six awards. In a novel attempt of 360° community engagement, attendants voted for their favorite projects. In general, voting went well and swiftly AND we had one tie.

  • Best Overall Civic App – Property Tax Explorer & Tammany
  • Best User Experience – Choose a High School NYC
  • Most Creative Use of Open Data – NYC Parks N Rec
  • Best Citizen Engagement App – Emrals
  • Best Visualization of NYC Open Data – City Visualizations
  • Best City Council/Community Board App – Trends: Community Board Email App

Thank you event sponsors:

For the next month, we’re going to focus on project development as we develop a series of BetaTalks and full scale membership program. Please join us on Meetup.com for our upcoming hacknights and our first #CivicFridays.

Lastly, #CodeAcrossNYC 2014 wouldn’t have been possible without the generous nature of an amazing group of volunteers: Jessica, Terrance, Aileen, Ariel, Chris, Doneliza, Joe, Daniel, Freddie, Gunnar, Joel, Mikael, Nathan, Yasi, Charlene, Kat, Sekai, Theodore, Alex, Tricia, Paul, Jennifer, Patrick, Sean, Emily, Trae, Vietnhi, Sami, Aykut, Daniel, Ren, Takisha.

A special thanks goes out to Jessica, Terrance, and Joel for keeping everything in order, and managing the volunteer framework. THANK YOU