LocalData: A Toolkit for Geodata Collection from Code for America

All sorts of formal and informal organizations need to collect location-related data including nonprofits, cities, and community groups. They might use the data to enhance environmental causes, support political campaigns, map local assets, or perform fundraising. But, the data collection itself can be a challenge.

The Knight Foundation is supporting LocalData, a Code for America effort to build open source solutions to collect such data. There are two solutions: one uses smartphones with apps run in mobile browsers and the other uses good old paper and pencil along with scanners to make the results digital. Users can look at the data "live" as it comes in and then output it in csv, kml, shp, or GeoJSON for use in Google Earth, Fusion Tables, and ArcGIS.

LocalData started in Detroit, where the Code for America team saw how long and painful it was to collect data. The current open source code, in private beta, lives on GitHub. The front end is built on HTML5, JavaScript, and Leaflet, with the backend using Node.js and PostGIS. 

This sounds like one of those toolkits geospatial folks should be aware of as it matures.

via @timoreilly


Published Monday, March 4th, 2013

Written by Adena Schutzberg