April 30th, 2013
Project Batman is a UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) project being done in conjunction with the Civic Consulting Alliance (CCA) of Chicago and funded by the UIC Office of the Chancellor and the Dean’s Office of the College of Engineering.
The CCA builds pro bono teams of business experts, government leaders, and members of its staff, with the goal of making Chicago more livable, affordable, and globally competitive. More specifically, EVL’s Project Batman focuses on mapping publicly available crime data onto Chicago’s urban infrastructure, to help civic leaders and law enforcement see and understand the big picture - literally - and make more informed decisions.
While the project is in its infancy, WBEZ reporter Elliott Ramos published the online article “City tech wonks add toys to Emanuel’s utility belt” on April 3. It covers a number of new initiatives by the Chicago’s Department of Innovation and Technology, including reference to Project Batman.
This story is based on a WBEZ blog by Charlie Meyerson, titled Chicago has a “Project Batman”. Reporting on an OpenGov Chicago meeting held February 26, 2013, Meyerson wrote that Tom Schenk Jr., Chicago’s analytics director, told a gathering of journalists, programmers and government leaders that the city is working with UIC to visualize crime data in a 3-D virtual reality “cave.”
Subsequently, WTTW followed up on the “Project Batman” story as part of its coverage of EVL’s CAVE2™ hybrid-reality environment that aired April 23, 2013 on the nightly “Chicago Tonight” news show.
See the WTTW article and video