Software Development

Understanding our surroundings with maps: No. 8 #dctech trend of 2016

An opportunity to nerd out about understanding a city through data.

What do the locals do around here?

(Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

As the year draws to a close we’re looking back at all that has happened in #dctech — this post is part of our 2016 year in review series. See the full list here.


In 2016, D.C. got excited about maps. And this was great news for us, because we’re always excited about maps.
Both local government agencies themselves and local civic hackers used open data to create projects that can help us understand the District more deeply. There was DC Water’s lead pipe map, the Office of Zoning’s intense, interactive zoning map and HistoryQuestDC, a map showing historical information on the city’s 127,000 extant buildings.
In the economic development space, the Washington, DC Economic Partnership updated its map of coworking spaces operating throughout the District. WDCEP counted more than 70 — but more on that trend later.
Because of D.C.’s open data policies, though, it wasn’t just the government and partners who got to mess around with maps. See, for example, Randy Howard Smith’s map of D.C. street trees. Or take a look at Chase Sawyer’s speed trap map on his blog Overflow Data. Or, as always, enjoy Kate Rabinowitz’s continued work with data, sometimes in map form, on DataLensDC. (Rabinowitz won Technologist of the Year at our D.C Innovation Awards, further solidifying this trend.)
We learned something new through each of these maps and that’s what made us most excited about them — keep ’em coming, #dctech.

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