We’ve spent the last 6 months or so working with the team at the US Census Bureau on something called The Opportunity Project, a recurring initiative quarterbacked by the Census to bring together creators, government, and local communities to collaboratively build tools to tackle various large issues in the nation. Specifically we’ve been testing out the ability for communities in need to deploy Fulcrum Community for collecting address data. While to an outsider it may seem like address data is a “solved problem,” that’s far from the case in certain locales and rural communities. Also, even in urban areas, the need for an address mapping toolkit and quality data rises up when disasters strike and throw municipalities into disarray.
This post from Bryan comprehensively covers what we’ve been doing and what the potential impacts look like for appropriate application of technology to specific problems:
Each year, The Opportunity Project (TOP) connects government agencies, technologists, and communities to collaboratively work through 12-week technology development sprints to tackle a variety of problem statements, using open data, and create digital tools that help strengthen American economic opportunity. Technologists work with stakeholders, end users, and product advisors to build tools and apps, which are unveiled at the end of the sprint during Demo Day, at the Census headquarters.
This past year, Spatial Networks had the privilege to work on a sprint team tasked with working closely with the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Transportation to help Tribal, State, and Local Governments with local address data collection. More specifically, our challenge was to develop resources to help stakeholders create and maintain open address point data.
Folks from FEMA, the City of New Orleans, several tribal councils, and other federal agencies are keenly interested in crowdsourcing tools like what we’ve been building, to apply to dozens of different problems where better data can play a role. We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished so far and are doubling down on Community in the coming months.