How local can you get? How about a city block?
The world is full of interesting data, but much of it is unavailable because there is no easy way to sort through it all. But what if someone did the sorting for you? And what if that information was then mapped onto a map of your neighborhood?
In this presentation from the 2008 O’Reilly Where 2.0 Conference, Adrian Holovaty shares how his site. EveryBlock.com, aggregates data from a variety of sources to provide a feed for the news, events, and civic goings-on that have happened, or will happen, in your city. Thus, mEveryBlock makes it simple to keep track of news for a very specific area. EveryBlock builds their feed by including data about crimes, property transactions, zoning changes, construction permits, movie filming, business reviews, pictures and more.
In addition to explaining how they integrate these disparate sources of data together, Holovaty also shares several tips for gathering open data sources. Hint; treat the providers of the data as partners and give them the respect and credit they are due. He also explains what are the best types of data to include, specifically, data that is easy to bookmark, searchable, and easy to share.
Finally, Holovaty discusses the merits of making your own maps instead of using free mapping services like Google Maps. His claim? The control you gain over what is shown and how, is worth the extra effort. The clean, easy to read maps at EveryBlock.com demonstrate his point.