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Chicago ClearStreets: A Better Use Of Snow Plow Tracker Technology

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 20, 2012 10:12PM

The City's Snow Plow Tracker wasn't well received when it had its first run with snow. GRID Chicago's Steven Vance did an excellent job of listing specific problems with the technology's implementation and suggested improvements. Daniel X. O'Neil, in the comments to Vance's post, noted:

"The Plow Tracker is not a failure, so that is just flat inaccurate. It exposed city data in a fun, timely way that got people all over the city thinking and talking about an essential city service."

Open government advocate and programmer Derek Eder and some friends took the Plow Tracker technology, specifically the locations of the plows, to create an application called Chicago ClearStreets. Instead of tracking the plows, ClearStreets lets users know what streets have been cleared.

Logic. What a concept.

Eder writes, "the urge to make this ClearStreets app only hit us at 7pm last night. So this is a rough draft" that may not be completely accurate.

It's a rough draft that already works better than what the city introduced. Eder also writes ClearStreets is an example of what the City can accomplish when it sincerely embraces open data.