Atlanta is now a beta site at EveryBlock!

I’ve been a huge fan of EveryBlock since…well, since before they were EveryBlock. The site grew out of Adrian Holovaty’s original local info mashup, chicagocrime.org. Chicagocrime was one of the original Google Maps mashups, and not only showed off the power of map APIs, it provided a huge amount of useful data in a immediately useful visualization, at a very granular level. It was a huge hit, winning awards and immediate acclaim.

In early 2008, Adrian stepped up to the next level, and expanded outward with EveryBlock; a site designed to do what Chicagocrime did (and more), but for more cities.  EveryBlock started in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco, with the intent of expanding as data feeds became available in other cities.

Atlanta has gotten a lot of interest through their polling app, and it’s just been released in beta this week. “Beta” isn’t an indicator of the flakiness of the site, as much as the availability of data…the site is the same (Python-powered!) code that runs all the city-sites. But much of the challenge is actually getting good data feeds from city governments and civic organizations, so that screen-scraping is kept to a minimum.

EveryBlock is a great example of a Web 2.0 style tool. It’s far more than a static site; info can be customized by location (zip code, neighborhood, address, etc.), by type (crime types, gov’t info [building permit requests, for example], local news mentions, etc.), pushed into RSS feeds, generated as email summaries, provided on great map mashups…it’s a little overwhelming. But it’s great stuff, and I’m looking forward to using the hell out of it. Thanks, EveryBlock, and welcome to Atlanta.

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