Newark Police Department solicits traffic concerns with crowdsourced map - Delaware


Sep. 8, 2016 12:58 pm

Newark Police Department solicits traffic concerns with crowdsourced map

Pins were dropped, complaints were voted on, data was collected.

Officers James Spadola (center) and Aaron Olicker give out free hugs in Newark.

(Photo courtesy of James Spadola)

People of Newark, you have spoken and the Newark Police Department has listened. NPD crowdsourced traffic concerns from 11 a.m. on Aug. 23 to 5 p.m. on Aug. 26. Some 566 complaints were collected and will be addressed in terms of importance. Complaints with the most votes will get priority.

“We finally got the data looking the way I wanted it to,” said NPD’s James Spadola, aka #HugACop dude, aka state senate candidate. “This is how we can disseminate the information once we parse through it and see where most of the problem locations are.”

The platform NPD used to create this map is called ArcGIS Online. Here’s how they did it:

The department was previously using RAIDS Online to collect and display data, but the switch to ArcGIS will allow added customization, Spadola said. There are no plans of going exclusively online when it comes to complaints, however.

“My concern would be we would only be communicating with the online techie audience,” Spadola said. “Then we would be excluding the audience that doesn’t have access to the internet. I think of this just as just a way of broadening our reach to voice concerns. People are more than welcome to call in concerns.”

There is interest in making the online traffic complaint map available once again in the future but no immediate plans have been announced.

Rana Fayez

Rana Fayez was Delaware's lead reporter. She was previously business reporter and digital editor for the Delaware Business Times. In 2015, she won two awards from the Delaware Press Association for her coverage on consumer retail trends and technology news. When not storytelling, she's volunteering or making music.


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