Our installation at the National Building Museum, part of the Intelligent Cities and 24 Hour City Project, is open to the public today! This is an experiment to see how open data can improve community organizations’ operations. We want to see how data driven decision making can lead to better services provided in a community, so we implicitly integrated open data into the operations of A Wider Circle — a local nonprofit that provides furniture and household goods to families transitioning from shelters or living without basic necessities.
The experiment is simple, we combined existing DC government open data sets to get perspective on the community and neighborhoods where A Wider Circle works, and then opened up A Wider Circle’s operational data and visualized where services are being provided. This entire project is built using open source tools like TileMill, making it repeatable and accessible to even the smallest community organizations in any city. The project data is all online and interactive via data.awidercircle.org.
Using TileStream Hosting from MapBox to host the map, you can interact with it to see where the people A Wider Circle is serving live, with the blue dots showing furniture donors and the green dots showing recipients.
It is best to experience this in person. Since the lack of basic needs is a very real physical world problem that many of us never experience, we constructed an entire floor of a house — including a bedroom, a dining room, and a living room — to really show what a A Wider Circle delivers. We invite the community to come look at our interactive map on the TV in the living room. More details about the project are available on the blog for the Intelligent Cities and 24 Hour City Project.
And of course, donations wanted: awidercircle.org/donorform. We will post more pictures at the end of the day.
Every piece of furniture shows the total amount of similar items donated in 2010.