The_Message: August 2023

BetaNYC is buzzing with activity this summer! Our Summer Civic Innovation Fellows are out in the field delving into data, new additions have invigorated our Lab, and our public open data classes are seeing new attendance records!

Today we want to highlight the remarkable endeavors of our fellows and invite you to an upcoming event they’re holding. Last fall, we kicked off a “Mapping for Equity” initiative with a new cohort of Fellows and recapped their accomplishments when we parted ways. You can also check out this Gothamist article!

Continuing their momentum this summer, a fresh cohort of Fellows has carried the torch. Mark your calendars for August 21st and join us in North Brooklyn. Together with the Office of Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez, the North Brooklyn Parks Alliance (NBPA), and our Summer 2023 Fellows, we will map public amenities that shape our community’s identity and tell you more about the initiative.

Stay cool and hope to see you later this month,

— BetaNYC

What’s New at BetaNYC?

Come Learn About NYC Open Data! 📊

Classes are ongoing in the NYC Open Data Ambassadors program, a collaboration with the NYC Office of Technology and Innovation’s Open Data Team. Miss last month’s class? No fear — the next one is tonight at 6pm. For a list of the full class schedule, visit

Use OpenStreetMap as Part of Mapping for Equity! 🗺️

Come meet our Summer 2023 Civic Innovation Fellows in a fun field day mapping in OpenStreetMap. Learn more and RSVP by August 18 via    

RSVP for the Upcoming BetaNYC Alumni Event (Invite Only) 🎉

BetaNYC alumni, our annual summer event is right around the corner! Join us on August 26 for a fun field day. Check your emails for the invite, and if you have any questions, email Hope to see you there!   

Community News, Events and Announcements

Here are some content picks from our community. Share yours in next month’s newsletter.

Public Interest Tech and Data Driven Legislation Updates 👀 

A new MTA pilot program gets rave reviews: The MTA has launched the Quantum tech on select buses, allowing mobility-impaired people to secure themselves in place without assistance.     

Data transparency for cyclists: the NYC Council passed a bill requiring the Department of Transportation to create a real-time map of bike lane conditions. Council Member Carlina Rivera — who sponsored the bill — and activist Jon Orcutt wrote an informative op-ed on how the bill is life-changing.     

Ever wonder where police cars are deployed in NYC? Thanks to a team of Cornell Tech researchers, we now have an idea. With deep learning (AI), they found some patterns in higher police deployment.   

A new path for drone use: Mayor Adams announced a new drone permit process to make it easier for businesses to fly drones. This comes as Governor Hochul deployed 60 drones statewide to provide alerts for shark sightings

Ongoing news for congestion pricing: A group of Manhattan elected officials penned a letter to the Traffic Mobility Review Board, asking for pricing exemptions, adjustions and clarification on some policies. Over in New Jersey, the Star-Ledger/ Editorial Board published an editorial in support of congestion pricing.       

Data analytics in the White House: Election 2024 is underway (although let’s not forget our local elections this November!) and one of President Biden’s first hires for his reelection campaign is for data analytics.

The paper ballot will cease to be: The New York State Board of Elections voted for touchscreen voting machines to replace paper ballots, amid concerns on election security and voting experience.   

A new way to monitor dangerous drivers: New state legislation would require drivers with at least six speeding tickets in a year to install speed monitoring devices in their cars.

Where do drownings occur? What are the demographics? Newly proposed legislation from the NYC Council would require the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to generate an annual data-driven report on drownings.

Upcoming Events 📆

Aug 9 at 6pm Discovering NYC Open Data

Aug 15 at 1pm NYC Fireside Chat with US GSA Administrator

Aug 15 at 5:30pm January 2024 Congressional Innovation Fellowship Informational Call

Aug 16 at 6pm Transit Techies #18: Improving Usability of the MTA’s Elevator Outage Data

Aug 21 at 12pm Mapping for Equity: A New Way to Map NYC’s Public Amenities

Sept 8 at 1pm Data Sharing and Cyberinfrastructure Working Group

Sept 8 at 12pm Discovering NYC Open Data: Online Session Hosted by The Office of Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine

Sept 13 at 6:30pm Queens Tech Night 2023

Sept 14 at 3pm The Responsible Tech Summit: Shaping Our Digital Future

Sept 23-24 DivHacks 2023: Hack to the Future

Sept 25-27 NYGeoCon 2023

Announcements, Job Openings and Opportunities 📢

Submit to this list by filling out this form and see our #Jobs channel in Slack for more posts.

Join our community! 🛸

Like this newsletter and what we do? Donate $23 or more to our 2023 campaign and support employment opportunities for our Civic Innovation LabCivic Innovation Fellows and Apprentices to grow with us.

See you next month! Peace, openness and gratitude 🗽