Chicago Crime Hack — EVANSTON

Save the date for a relaxed day of civic hacking

Northwestern University Knight Lab and The Chicago Tribune News Applications team would like to invite you to spend the day with us, hacking on civic data. We’ll be available to help out with using the API, coaching and other technical consulting.

The city of Chicago has published extensive crime data, which is the basis of the Tribune’s “Crime in Chicago” portal ( The TribApps team recently added an API, which makes it even easier to build your own projects with the city’s data.

If you’re an experienced civic hacker or have done open gov data analysis, consider giving a 5-minute “lightning talk” to share your work with folks at the event. Lightning talks are casual and fun so don't be shy!

The Chicago Tribune News Applications team has released the API and a sample app. Read the blog post or visit the Github repo.

9 am — Doors open, coffee and breakfast nosh
9:30 am — Welcome and introductions; Some presentations: Data model (Joe), Crime API (Heather), Backbone App (David); Brief demos and/or some project ideas
10:15 amDesign-thinking exercise, projects and ideas brainstorming (Miranda)
Noon — Lunch, lightning talks and mingling
1 pm — HACK!
4:30 pm — Report backs, show and tell, presentations and feedback
5 pm — Thanks!

We'd like to thank our sponsor, Knight-Mozilla OpenNews for sponsoring our lunch, light snacks and beverages.

OpenNews sponsors hack days around the world to write code that helps to solve real-world journalistic problems. Also, be sure to check out Source, a resource for spotlighting the community that is writing code for journalism.


We're hosting a series of Crime Hacks. If you can't make it April 6 in Evanston, check out March 23 in the Loop or April 13 in Pilsen.

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  • G G.

    Joe- Thank you for responding. I see I need starting knowledge of tools used in the hack. Can you point me? Thanks!

    April 10, 2013

    • Joe G.

      it's a pretty broad question. What are you interested in learning? What do you already know? Is there a problem you want to solve? Or the data just the means to an end of learning some technology better?

      April 10, 2013

  • G G.

    Fun morning workshop. Excellent guest speakers at lunch. Nothing happens in the afternoon. Plan to leave after the lunch speakers. No teaching or learning took place.

    April 9, 2013

    • Joe G.

      Greg: Sorry you found the afternoon unhelpful; it's generally the nature of hackathons that people work on their projects and learn informally by finding a collaborator or asking other attendees for help. Maybe we're too familiar with this kind of event to recognize when we didn't make that clear in the introduction.

      April 9, 2013

  • G G.

    If you need my space, let me know. I'm a GIS user who wants to see what this is all about.

    April 5, 2013

  • Miranda M.

    Changing my status in order to allow for other RSVPs

    March 28, 2013

  • Joe G.

    I'm actually attending, but don't want to count against the max RSVPs

    March 6, 2013

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