There’s been a great deal of buzz surrounding a series of pieces highlighting the best and worst cities in the state written by al.com/Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald. During his regular weekly segment on WBHM, local Morning Edition host Tanya Ott highlighted a comment on Archibald’s most recent piece about the state’s worst cities made by Emily Lowrey, founder and publisher of Magic City Post, suggesting al.com/AMG take a closer look at each of the city’s 99 neighborhoods as part of its overall analysis.
It got us wondering just how familiar folks were with all of Birmingham, AL’s 99 neighborhoods (or the city’s general boundaries for that matter). Luckily, someone was already working on a solution, courtesy of a Code for America Brigade project – Click That Hood. The premise of the simple – it asks you just how familiar you are with the locations of neighborhoods in several cities across the country. Marcus Dillavou, a founder and lead engineer at VIPAAR, decided to add Birmingham to the site himself, sharing a post describing how he went about it earlier today. It should give folks an idea of the issues involving access to usable general data about the city. He was able to add 87 of the 99 neighborhoods to the map, all of them located north of Red Mountain.
The site is being highlighted in advance of this weekend’s second annual Code Across America initiative, appropriate as February 23 is International Open Data Day. The hope is to continue to spark an interest in civic innovation. There are no known events taking place in Birmingham, though perhaps helping Marcus tackle getting the rest of the city on the map or helping populate Bhamwiki with information about those neighborhoods (& other things Birmingham) would be pretty significant tasks unto themselves.
We also figured it was time to get our area’s See Click Fix map out from hiding on our site. A button taking you to the page will appear on the sidebar tomorrow morning.