Plenario: An Urban Data Cyberinfrastructure (Edgewater Glen Data)

It is still in alpha but we pulled all the Edgewater Glen Plenar.io data here if you are curious about where our rats are being baited or how many trees have been trimmed in the neighborhood. You can select the “view” button next to each dataset to see the specifics.

“Plenario makes it possible to rethink the way we use open data. Instead of being constrained by the data that is accessible and usable, let’s start by formulating our questions and then find the data to answer them. Plenario makes this easy by tying together all datasets on one map and one timeline—because in the real world, everything affects everything else.” – Plenario

The platform is ultimately hoped to serve as the backend for urban analytics software around the world, used both by city managers and researchers. Upcoming features will include:

  • Allowing all users to add datasets they would like to see in Plenario
  • Sophisticated units of aggregation, on one or many variables of interest
  • Support for authentication and private datasets, such as 911 data and mortgage data
  • Unstructured data such as tweets and crowdsourced observations

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“The cyberinfrastructure, technologies, and tools used to make the rich set of urban open data available were designed primarily to support the analysis of individual data sets rather than exploring relationships among many data sets. Consequently, urban scientists lack the tools and infrastructure to fully harness urban data for their research.  UrbanCCD researchers, in partnership with researchers at the Harris School of Public Policy, developers at DataMade, and City of Chicago officials, have developed Plenario, a a new platform for accessing, combining, downloading, and visualizing datasets released by city, county, state, and federal governments.

Plenario, currently in alpha, enables scientists to select a geographic area, determine what data is available about that area, and extract an integrated collection of selected data sets for a particular time period for further analysis. The prototype exploits the fact that the bulk of published urban data sets share the attributes of location and time. By integrating data across multiple data sources, for specific time periods, for specific geographic areas, Plenario enables scientists to apply the tools of mathematics and computation to better understand urban challenges, ranging from youth violence and crime to graduate rates to employment and economic decline and revitalization.” – Urban Center for Computation and Data

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