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City of Austin website has GIS Map page

Earlier this year, I had a chance to volunteer at the “Open Austin Geospatial Jam”, an one-day workshop for the community to learn about location-rich data and tools. The event was organized by the “Code Across America 2014” and had as a goal to discuss tools and technology for manipulating civic datasets that contain location information. Most of the talks throughout the day were very technical and targeted to experts on GIS, but on this post, I’d like to share one of the most interesting things I learned at the event: the City of Austin website has a GIS (Geographic Information System) Map page. On this site,  any citizen may search data and choose to visualize it on a map of the city, even historical information. This is a great tool for newspapers. For example, the local newspaper Austin Statesman has already used this public tool to enrich its news stories.

If you would like to learn about the tools discussed in this workshop look for more information here

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 15.24.22

Map of Fire Stations in Austin, generated by the City of Austin website

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About Cláudia Silva

Cláudia Silva is a Postdoctoral Research fellow at M-ITI (Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute). She received a PhD in Digital Media from the New University of Lisbon within the context of the University of Texas at Austin-Portugal international doctoral program (May, 2016). For her doctoral dissertation, she worked with Latino communities in Austin, Texas, during four years, conducting ethnographic work and teaching different age groups on how to create grassroots location-based storytelling. At the University of Texas at Austin, her advisor was Dr. Joseph Straubhaar. At the New University of Lisbon, she was co-advised by Dr. António Granado. In Portugal, she has worked as an Arts Journalist for the national Portuguese newspaper Público. Cláudia has also published in the national Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo, and in other regional and local Brazilian publications. She received a MA in Journalism from the New University of Lisbon, in Portugal (2009), and a BA in Social Communication (Journalism) from the Catholic University of Minas Gerais, in Brazil (2005). Her research interests are on digital media, locative media, location-based storytelling and mobile media, underserved and local communities, new technologies applied into social innovation and journalism. In addition to that, Cláudia is a fan of novels and literature, old and rare books, and she enjoys writing literary texts as well.

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