City of Chicago Partners with UIC/EVL to Announce OpenGrid

Brenna Berman, City of Chicago’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Commissioner of the Department of Innovation & Technology, introduces OpenGrid on the UIC EVL Cyber-Commons wall. - Lance Long, UIC/EVL


Electronic Visualization Laboratory, University of Illinois at Chicago

To announce OpenGrid, a new and innovative website enabling the public to navigate City data using an intuitive and visual interface, the City of Chicago’s Department of Innovation & Technology wanted a high-tech stage. Several stages, in fact, so that invited media and partners could listen to presentations in one environment and then move to another for demos and hands-on experiences. They came to the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago to host the event.

Brenna Berman, the City’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Commissioner of the Department of Innovation & Technology, and Tom Schenk, Jr., Chief Data Officer (CDO), presented OpenGrid in EVL’s Cyber-Commons room, followed by multiple demos in the CAVE2™ Hybrid Reality Environment. They explained OpenGrid’s technical capabilities, but also its human capabilities - as it makes City data more readily accessible to Chicago communities, providing its citizens with the information they need to solve problems relevant to their communities.

Data portals organize data by individual datasets, making it difficult to combine data and see what is happening in one’s neighborhood. OpenGrid is a public website that makes the Chicago Data Portal more easily available to all residents. Users can select areas on a map of the City, on which to graphically view locations of inspections, street closures, potholes, crimes, and other activities.

Chicago’s investment in open data, along with strategic partnerships with civic tech volunteers and pro bono corporations, has also helped improve the city’s services. EVL is proud to have helped this initiative!

Learn more about OpenGrid.

See OpenGrid collaborator, University of Chicago’s press release.


Date: January 19, 2016

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