Chicago Open Data at Work

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A few years ago Blagica Bottigliero started the website Gals' Guide as an online forum for young women moving out on their own an into the "big city". Recently, I've been working with her on taking the site to the next step; building a web application utilizing the growing sets of data about life in Chicago.[1]

The Gals' Guide Map App is designed to combine different datasets about the city's various neighborhoods into one, assisting one in finding right place to live.

The web app is, somewhere between alpha and beta stages, not ready for general use or even rigorously browser tested, but ready for feedback. To that end, we've started showing the app to our various networks to gather feedback as it moves towards a general, full public release.


The map and features therein have been influenced by other map mashups out there, such as the recent work done by the Chicago Tribune's News Applications team.[2]

Currently it incorporates data from the U.S. Census, the City of Chicago and Groupon. But, that's just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of other datasets about the city from sources such as county and state, Everyblock, Yelp, Grubhub and others.

Go, check it out and leave some feedback.

[1] This is also the next logical step for me from coding up PHP classes for the CTA's API and the City of Chicago's open data portal I started working on back in July.

[2] The team has a blog which includes a nice series of post on their work, I recommend taking a look.

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About the Author

Paul is a technologist and all around nice guy for technology oriented organizations and parties. Besides maintaining this blog and website you can follow Paul's particular pontifications on the Life Universe and Everything on Twitter.


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