A hacknight dedicated to transit & NYC school data

This is a past event

61 people went


137 Varick Street, 2nd Floor · New York, NY

How to find us

Please bring Photo ID, we'll be on the second floor.

Location image of event venue


About Beyond Transparency

For the month of Jan and Feb, BetaNYC is doubling down its advocacy investment in open data. We are focusing on building tools for City Council Members, their staff, and Community Boards. For these weeks, we are looking at four data realms and building apps on top of that data: Crime and Public Safety, Schools and Transportation, Land Use, and NYC 311 data. These nights will feed into a two day hackathon (22/23 Feb), Code Across NYC (http://www.meetup.com/betanyc/events/155118982/).

About this hacknight

This event is a unique night. We're taking a specific problem (https://github.com/BetaNYC/Tools-for-NYC-Council-and-Community-Boards/wiki/School-choice---transit-hacknight) and amplifying it as a use case to learn more about transportation and school datasets. If you have other projects, please bring them and post them to the wiki (https://github.com/BetaNYC/Tools-for-NYC-Council-and-Community-Boards/wiki/School-choice---transit-hacknight). Also in the wiki, we have a broad collection of datasets.

7:00 PM - Event Starts Promptly
7:15 PM - 7:45 PM - Presentation of Use Case and Datasets
7:55 PM till 9:30 PM - Hacking
9:30 PM - 10:00 PM - Report back and clean up

NYC School's Problem Brief:

Last Fall, the NYC Department of Education (NYCDOE) released its first-ever API for high school data. Already, six developers have built apps against it to help the 80,000 middle-school students and their families who choose high schools every year. < http://nycdoe.pediacities.com/ >

But, many students and parents want to narrow down their school options by for example, a given commute time, a given route, or other transportation considerations (i.e. I only want to take the subway). We need your help to add ease and functionality to the school choice experience.

Join us for demos from best-in-field apps, APIs, and tools that might be combined to improve the school choice experience for NYC students.

Key challenge to solve:

Who to Target (the user): Middle school students, their families, and guidance counselors...

The NYCDOE's choice model of admissions allows students to apply to a range of schools, rather than attending their nearest or zoned school. This model is intended to provide students with more educational options, incentivize schools to improve their offerings, and improve the school system at large.

Further, the NYCDOE has made significant efforts to provide students and parents with training and information resources to help them evaluate school options. Each student may submit up to 12 school choices, then a data-driven algorithm maximizes the match between students’ preferences and their school placements. Today, over half of students receive their top-ranked school choice and three quarters receive one of their three top picks.

Variability in the choice experience and of the components necessary for making informed choices are topics the DOE explored through fieldwork with the Public Policy Lab. The above and following includes some highlights from that work.

Prompts for Design Action:

• Kids need a push to investigate schools outside their comfort zone, so they don't miss good options.

• Kids should get personalized default lists, so they can focus on likely schools – or explore overlooked options.

Relevant Data

• NYC Department of Education Data

• NYC High School Data - http://nycdoe.pediacities.com/ (point location + other data)

• NYC 311 School Data - http://developer.cityofnewyork.us/api/open311-inquiryMTA

• Data MTA Developer Site (Bus, subway GTFS, and point locations) - http://web.mta.info/developers/

• Ferry DataNYC DOT, SI Ferry: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/about/datafeeds.shtml#ferry (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/about/datafeeds.shtml#ferryNY)

• NY (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/about/datafeeds.shtml#ferryNY) Waterways / East River Ferry: https://github.com/BetaNYC/NY-Waterways-GTFS-data

• CitiBike Locations - Unoffical, https://github.com/BetaNYC/Bike-Share-Data-Best-Practices/wiki/CitiBike-NYC-Tools-and-Apps

Ideas and More Data

• BetaNYC Project Idea Market (http://betaNYC.ideascale.com)

• GItHub Wiki on this subject (https://github.com/BetaNYC/Tools-for-NYC-Council-and-Community-Boards/wiki/School-choice---transit-hacknight)

Event Host:

Pediacities (http://www.pediacities.com)/Ontodia (http://www.ontodia.com/) created the PediaCities platform to curate, organize, and link data about cities. Check out our first PediaCities knowledgebase at NYCpedia.com (http://nyc.pediacities.com/) for a demonstration of what clean linked data looks like. Ontodia was founded in 2011 by Joel Natividad (http://www.ontodia.com/#panel-team) and Sami Baig (http://www.ontodia.com/#panel-team) following their success at NYCBigApps 3.0, where they won the Grand Prize for NYCFacets (http://nycfacets.com/). The PediaCities platform, with NYCpedia (http://nyc.pediacities.com/) as the first PediaCity, is our attempt to add value on top of NYC’s incredible open data ecosystem.