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Code for America is a non-profit organization developing open source projects for city governments. Through several initiatives, it’s building a network of cities, citizens, community groups, and startups, "committed to reimagining government for the 21st century."

One of its latest projects is a tool to "open and build on cities' geodata," as explained by Nick Doiron, 2012 Fellow at Code for America. The app, called NeighborDiff and powered by CARTO, relies on local knowledge to map how the Macon, GA neighborhoods have evolved in the past five years. Through a drag and drop interface, users help monitor the city’s landscape.

Challenge

The Code for America Fellows needed a tool to crowdsource changes made by a university. The users were not of high technical proficiency, so they needed an app that was easy to use. The goal of the drag-and-drop UI was to make editing the map seem less like a chore and more like a collaborative map. And the team did not want to spend lots of time setting up their geospatial infrastructure.

Solution

CARTO provide all the capabilities they needed out of the box. The team was able to upload a shapefile from 2007, and then easily code a collaborative interface using CARTO's Maps API. They also made good use of CARTO's UTFGrid implementation for responsive interactivity.

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