Blog

Thoughts and innovations in open government and civic technology.


Councilmatic arrives in Los Angeles


Councilmatic arrives in Los Angeles

May 17, 2017 by Regina Compton

DataMade launches a new version of Councilmatic for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to help the public keep track of their Board of Directors, meetings, and reports.

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Scrutinizing City Council


Scrutinizing City Council

Mar 09, 2017 by Regina Compton

DataMade launches an email subscription service on Councilmatic.

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Get the lead (and the word) out with City Bureau


Get the lead (and the word) out with City Bureau

Jan 09, 2017 by Hannah Cushman

We extracted lead test results from hundreds of PDFs so you don’t have to. You saw them in a special issue of South Side Weekly guest edited by City Bureau. Now, the data is yours to explore.

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Securing Municipal IDs


Securing Municipal IDs

Jan 04, 2017 by Forest Gregg

This whitepaper describes technical measures that can be used to protect data about immigrants in a municipal ID program.

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Ain’t No Party Like a README Party


Ain’t No Party Like a README Party

Jan 02, 2017 by Regina Compton

This holiday season, we read and revised several of our most popular READMEs – making the open-source world a happier, more festive place to be.

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Brand new tools for analyzing community-level data


Brand new tools for analyzing community-level data

Nov 21, 2016 by Jean Cochrane

This week, DataMade is excited to announce three new additions to our open-source toolkit for developers. We’ve added libraries for dealing with data on crime, schools, and demographics in Illinois and across the United States.

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Following the money in New Mexico politics just got a whole lot easier


Following the money in New Mexico politics just got a whole lot easier

Oct 10, 2016 by Derek Eder

We’re happy to announce the launch of The Openness Project with our partners New Mexico In Depth. Based on campaign finance reports collected by the New Mexico Secretary of State, The Openness Project lets you search and browse all political contributions, expenditures, and candidates in statewide and local New Mexico races.

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We find your reps so you don’t have to


We find your reps so you don’t have to

Jul 26, 2016 by Derek Eder

My Reps is a tool for looking up your elected representatives across the United States. Based on your address, we can find all the federal, state, county, and local officials who represent you in government. We built it to be completely open source, easy to repurpose, and easy to customize by political organizations.

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Introducing Dedupe.io


Introducing Dedupe.io

Apr 28, 2016 by Derek Eder

Today, DataMade is launching something new. It’s not a map, or an app. It’s a product called dedupe.io. And it will transform your messy data into something much more useful.

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DataMade at NICAR 2016


DataMade at NICAR 2016

Mar 10, 2016 by Derek Eder

This week, DataMade will be in Denver for NICAR 2016, a yearly conference hosted by Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) on data journalism. We’ll be presenting on the work we’ve been doing and sharing our open source tools for working with, cleaning up and visualizing data. News nerds, look for us in Denver! We’d love to talk to you!

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Civic Tech Done Right – Community Driven, Community Responsive, Community Friendly


Civic Tech Done Right – Community Driven, Community Responsive, Community Friendly

Feb 08, 2016 by Derek Eder , Taryn Roch , Andrea Ortez

Neighborhood organizers and software developers don’t ordinarily move in the same circles. But in Chicago, thanks to some tool-hungry community organizers and neighborhood-oriented software developers, a couple of computer applications have emerged that are enabling neighborhood residents to play a greater role in improving their communities. This is a story, told from the perspective of three people, of how and why those applications were developed.

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Demystifying Chicago politics with Councilmatic


Demystifying Chicago politics with Councilmatic

Jan 25, 2016 by Derek Eder

Thanks to the support of the Sunlight Foundation, I am proud to announce that DataMade is launching a brand-new version Chicago Councilmatic. Track all things related to Chicago City Council.

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Introducing: Illinois Sunshine


Introducing: Illinois Sunshine

Aug 07, 2015 by Derek Eder , Sarah Brune (ICPR)

We teamed up with the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform to build Illinois Sunshine, a tool for browsing candidates, political committees, donations to campaigns and expenditures by campaigns in Illinois going back to 1994. Campaign finance data in Illinois has never been more accessible.

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Better Living Through Documentation


Better Living Through Documentation

May 28, 2015 by Cathy Deng

Effective technical communication shouldn’t be an afterthought; it’s crucial to open source development. Here are 20 practical tips.

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Parse names and parse ... anything, really


Parse names and parse ... anything, really

Mar 03, 2015 by Jeff Ernsthausen (AJC) , Cathy Deng

Based on the success of usaddress, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and DataMade are happy to announce two new parser tools in our collaboration: probablepeople - a parser for person names and parserator - a toolkit for making your own probabilistic, domain-specific parser.

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Parsing addresses with usaddress


Parsing addresses with usaddress

Oct 10, 2014 by Cathy Deng , Jeff Ernsthausen (AJC)

Last week, the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) announced the first public product from our collaboration - usaddress, a python library for parsing US addresses using advanced natural language processing (NLP) methods.

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DataMade at the Code for America Summit


DataMade at the Code for America Summit

Oct 02, 2014 by Derek Eder

The Code for America Summit, a yearly open government and civic tech conference, was held in San Francisco last week. DataMade was able to share two of our client’s stories to this international community of government leaders, funders, policy experts, and technologists.

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What are civic apps for?


What are civic apps for?

Sep 11, 2014 by Forest Gregg

One of the wonderful things about civic technology is that no one really knows what it means. ‘Civic technology’ covers varying types of projects made by a variety of people trying to do very different things. This fuzziness is useful. It challenges civic technologists to think independently about what exactly they are trying to do, while providing a wide set of projects and models to steal from or define themselves against. All the same, we can begin to identify four major intentions of civic apps.

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Show Me the Election Money!


Show Me the Election Money!

Jul 29, 2014 by Derek Eder

DataMade and the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR) are launching a new app today called Election Money. It provies bulk downloads of campaign finance data from the Illinois State Board of Elections.

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Large Lots 2.0


Large Lots 2.0

Jul 01, 2014 by Derek Eder

LargeLots.org is back, this time in East Garfield Park! If you own land in this west side Chicago neighborhood, you can buy up two vacant lots from the City of Chicago for $1 each.

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The Launch of LargeLots.org


The Launch of LargeLots.org

Apr 04, 2014 by Derek Eder

The City of Chicago is selling empty lots to South Side residents for $1 until April 21st, 2014 as part of their neighborhood stabilization initiative. To lower the barrier to apply for one of these ~4,000 lots and increase the number of potential applicants, we made an app to help residents find eligible lots and navigate this process - largelots.org.

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Introducing Spreadsheet Deduper


Introducing Spreadsheet Deduper

Mar 17, 2014 by Derek Eder

DataMade is launching a free online tool for de-duplicating spreadsheets.

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Dedupe 0.5


Dedupe 0.5

Mar 17, 2014 by Forest Gregg

Today, we are excited to announce a major update to the dedupe library! The new features include parallel processing support, improved record linkage across files, and a new asynchronous architecture.

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Procurement and Civic Innovation


Procurement and Civic Innovation

Feb 21, 2014 by Derek Eder

Have you ever used a government website and had a not-so-awesome experience? In our slick 2014 world of Google, Twitter and Facebook, why does government tech feel like it’s stuck in the 1990s? The culprit - bad technology procurement.

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The Power of Open Data


The Power of Open Data

Jan 14, 2014 by Derek Eder

In November, we got an e-mail from Triway International Group asking DataMade to share our open data work and what’s been going on with the Chicago Open Government community with 17 delegates from the National Bureau of Statistics of the People’s Republic of China.

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Making a Living with Civic Tech


Making a Living with Civic Tech

Oct 16, 2013 by Derek Eder

For the open government movement to sustain itself and continue to grow, we need to build businesses off of projects that emerge from our civic technology community.

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