Late to this because of travel in the interim, but last Wednesday, I rounded up my pals Jeremy Dunck and Paul Watler to go to the first meeting of BlockCamp, a new group dedicated to making Dallas / Fort Worth-area public data accessible. This has long been a passion of mine, something you can see in a lot of the work we did (and that continues to be done) at Pegasus News.
The group came together as a spin-off of the work that Better Block has been doing in Oak Cliff. They created an ad-hoc electronic bus schedule at a stop and started thinking about all the other kinds of useful data about — and how that data could be hacked into useful applications. (Wilonsky had a good preview of the event.)
About sixty people showed up for the initial confab at Eno’s. That’s a promising turnout if you ask me. The group was pretty diverse, including maybe about half coders of varying ilks, with a smattering of attorneys, real estate folks, City employees and general troublemakers like me. There was a lot enthusiasm around cataloging available local data and building some apps to quickly show what can be done.
The group is going to meet monthly to keep pushing forward. Meantime, there’s (unsurprisingly) a website where some behind-the-matrix work and discussion has begun. I just hope we have better luck than the Brits have had in this regard.
On a side note, this was my first visit to Eno’s, which is a beautiful building and has damn good pizza and beer selection. While I’ve been down to Bolsa on a busy weekend, I was shocked at how busy Eno’s and the neighborhood at large were on a Wednesday night. Good stuff happening down there.
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