City Stats

  • 12 Projects
  • 5 Team Members
  • 14 Events Hosted
  • 1045 Event Attendance
Name Tags Team Active Milestone Progress Last Updated

Map Austin Fire Stations

austin, fire department, quick win Yes

People's Gallery Mobile App

austin, quick win No

Open311 Austin

open311 Yes Project Description

SXSW Streets

austin, map, quick win No



Textizen Austin

mobile, citizen engagement Yes MVP Design & Development

Austin311 Voice recording data analasys

data analysis, research, empathy Yes

austin Yes Project Enhancements


Yes MVP Design & Development

Deep Dish ATX

Yes User Testing & Iteration

City Petz

austin, animal, shelter Yes MVP Design & Development

Low Water Crossing Open/Close map

austin, low water crossing Yes
Team Name Attendance Event date Url Description
Austin TedXAustin 300 02/11/12 TedxAustin event. Were able to go and represent Cod
Austin Reception with Council Members Laura Morrison and Chris Riley 24 02/13/12 Two city council members arranged a meet and greet
Austin Code Across America Post-Hack Happy Hour 12 03/01/12 We invited attendees from the 2/25/12 hackathon out
Austin Press Conference with Mayor Lee Leffingwell 15 02/15/12 The city's press team organized an event where the
Austin Code Across America Austin 50 02/25/12 An all-day civic hackathon at Conjunctured, a co-wo
Austin Code-a-thon ATX 04/14/12 This event is organized by contacts of ours in Aust
Austin Presentation at Bazaar Voice 75 02/17/12 Emily and Aurelio presented to the Bazaar Voice tea
Austin Google Austin 40 02/22/12 Aurelio met someone who works at the Google Austin
Austin Twilio Presentation 80 05/09/12 Team Austin, joined by Jim Craner, gave a 20 minute
Austin Edward Tufte Data Vis 300 04/23/12 Attended session with Keith Casey from Twilio. Met
Austin RHoK Austin 50 06/02/12 Joe attended RHoK Austin to build an early iteratio
Austin Homeowners' Preparedly Demo 24 07/18/12 The night before our press conference for Prepared.
Austin Preparedly Press Conference 35 07/19/12 Press conference for Preparedly at the Austin emerg
Austin Code Across Austin II 40 09/08/12 Our second hackathon in Austin. Over three dozen de

New Event
  • Austin: While seeking a link to an old press release on the city site, discovered their archives were very limited and inconsistent. There were some errors in how the site automated the deletion of certain posts, and we were told they've been reexamined their entire approach to archiving. I suggested maintaining archives for a much longer period of time (ideally permanently as some cities do, whether required by law or not) for various public interest purposes, and offered suggestions for alleviating concerns about misuse or misinterpretation of past info.
  • Austin: Prior to the SXSW festival in Austin, I noticed that the street closings info on the city web site was not conveyed in a mobile-friendly format, also only displayed in pdf's. Emily suggested creating a Google Custom map, which I did using the closings listed on the city's site. The city updated their online press release with the embedded map, which got about 4,000 views. After the event, I tried to use the map as an example of why the city should release their street closings and special events road closings data in a machine-friendly format, or at all. Those efforts are pending.
  • Austin: Our city contacts had been asking us for more examples of apps built using city data to use in their discussions with departments about open data policy. Using an app Jesse built for Chicago called DeepDish, I modified the code to use a data set from Austin's data portal containing restaurant inspection scores. Both Jesse and Mick helped with a few coding questions that came up. The city contacts replied that this is exactly what they were looking for. App is live at
  • Austin: Over the weekend, I noticed a Tweet about broken links appearing in Google for Austin's 311 web site. In February, we had communicated with the web team about SEO in general. The general SEO issues related to the city's new web site appear to be resolved, and they have set up a redirect from the old 311 page (which appears in search results for 'Austin 311', 'Austin Texas 311' etc.) to the current page. We've offered to help with SEO more generally.
  • Austin: Emily created an awesome infographic for the City of Austin Sustainability Department to highlight their "Rethink Austin" campaign in advance of Earth Day. She produced the first drafts then worked with the stakeholders to make sure their objectives were in alignment as the project progressed. The final product can be viewed at one of two uber-long url's that hopefully we'll remember to update once it's posted on a CfA site.
  • Austin: Prior to Code Across America on 2/25/12, the Austin public library provided us with a data set containing the number of materials checked out and public Internet users per branch each month, compared to the same month in prior years. When we forwarded the data set for addition to the city's portal, we were provided with a form that a library Director needed to fill out first, which has been a consistent issue in the release of more data to the portal - who wants another form to fill out? We asked the library's webmaster to complete the form, which he told us he did. More important, he replied and told us that they'll be releasing monthly updates of this data set to the portal.
  • Austin: During our Hackathon event in Austin, it was nice to see a city employee with the GIS department *eventually* get involved. In the morning it seemed like she was hesitant and trepid about getting involved but by the day was over was very much involved. This included her logging in directly to city computer to try and figure out what datasets were available. The change in attitude throughout the day was just very apparent.
  • Austin: Getting the 311 group on our side. We contacted the 311 group before our residency and were told they couldn't meet until upgrading their system. After a few followups, then having an Assistant City Manager and the City Communications Director contact them, we had an hourlong meeting which included the 311 Director, a few of his project managers, the city's data portal lead (from the web, not 311, department) and Motorola (311 vendor). We discussed the open311 spec and how to implement it; Motorola would have to enable the Connected Bits module in the city's system. We went over examples of apps built from 311 data, discussed concerns that 311 and departments would have (security, standardization, etc.) and next steps forward. Matt Esquibel, the city's data portal lead, highlighted Baltimore's open data and 311 apps approach which uses the same Motorola platform and Socrata data portal. We felt like we won over the 311 team by the end of the meeting and set up next steps to keep things moving toward APIs and apps, beginning with regular dumps of csv's to the city's data portal.
  • Austin: First day: Team Austin decided to walk to city hall (about 25 minutes). Wore our nice office clothing and Code for America track jackets, and were the only people walking along a busy road. Looked and felt like internet mormons.
  • Austin: #artATX interactive art show web app for the people's gallery. We had a meeting with Council Member Laura Morrison and she suggested doing something to work with the annual art show: The People's Gallery, the largest and best collection of local work she knew about in Austin. Together we decided to move forward with a twitter based project to allow people to tweet about and link back to their favorite pieces, as well as display the tweets coming through downstairs at the entrance by hashtag. In moving forward, we got lots of resistance from the department putting on the art show. After three meetings and them saying no 3 times, our city contact Doug essentially pulled rank on them. They came up to his office and we hashed out their concerns... the largest of which was "will these comments be on the internet forever?" only to be followed up by a realization that they didn't understand twitter in the slightest. (Big "ah-ha" moment for me.) Once all was explained they were filled with excitement at the potential and want to utilize it in the future. Lesson for team Austin: start at the beginning of the story, and explain everything.
  • Austin: At Code Across, Feb 25th Hackathon... A developer, Phil, while presenting his final project went on a very articulate rant about the lack of current data on the data portal. (I later found out he was taking a class on public speaking, and using it as time to practice.) There were several city employees there, and their reactions were in this order: surprised at his passion, amazed at the potential of what he was requesting, embarrassed at the old data, and finally a more proactive resolve to help this bold developer get what he needs. It was about a 15 minute surprise ignite-style story.