OpenGrid, a new website and mobile app that maps and visualizes city data for Chicago residents, was announced and released today by the City of Chicago. The project, funded by the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge, was built in partnership with researchers at the CI's Urban Center for Computation and Data and uses their Plenario open data platform.
Plenario, a new platform for accessing, combining, downloading, and visualizing datasets released by city, county, state, and federal governments, offers a user-friendly and powerful interface to push data-driven urban research beyond spreadsheets and towards deeper insights and solutions. An alpha version of the platform is now available for public use at http://plenar.io.
Last year, in an ornate downtown Chicago ballroom, the seeds were planted for a new multidisciplinary research network with an ambitious purpose: to understand and improve cities. By mixing together experts in computer science, public health, education, architecture, urban planning, art and social science, the Urban Sciences Research Coordination Network (USRCN) hoped to create versatile and knowledgeable teams that could find new approaches to study cities in a rapidly urbanizing world. Sixteen months later, the early fruits of those new collaborations helped inspire a new wave of discipline-crossing partnerships at the 2nd USRCN meeting, organized by the Urban Center for Computation and Data and held inside the world famous Art Institute of Chicago.