Six months ago, the City of Chicago launched OpenGrid, an open-source platform to view data about your city, your neighborhood, or even your block. OpenGrid evolved from the city’s internal, proprietary WindyGrid project. Today, OpenGrid now forms the bones for WindyGrid. But unlike WindyGrid, OpenGrid’s code is publicly available online and is part of Chicago’s mission to work with civic technology innovators to develop creative solutions. Since it’s initial release, Chicago has published three new releases of the platform to fix bugs and improve the platform based on feedback from developers.
During Amazon’s DC Summit, the City of Chicago announced it’ll be expanding it’s partnership with civic technologists. Starting July 8th, developers who want to work with City of Chicago can join the weekly developer calls to review recent activity and coordinate new work for the OpenGrid platform. Perhaps you want to work on a significant feature suggested in the roadmap, fix a bug, improve usability, or simply–but importantly–write a unit test.
If you’re interested in collaborating with the city, you can take a look at the past meeting notes on the project’s Wiki. While the source code is online, the project’s documentation gives a concise overview for developers. Likewise, look at the instructions for contributors to help us run a useful, collaborative project.
Calls will be held each Friday and details will be posted on the OpenGrid wiki page ahead of the meeting.
The aim of these calls is to better-engage potential contributors or adopters of the platform. That interaction will allow better planning, roadmapping, and divvying-up tasks. Ultimately, we believe OpenGrid will be a better platform when we build with others.
We will be experimenting with this to deepen collaboration between the city and those who can benefit, contribute, or use OpenGrid. This approach draws upon the practices of Mozilla Science Lab, Apache Foundation, and other pioneers who have build and maintained significant open source projects across a community. This builds upon years of collaboration the City of Chicago has established with technologists, non-profits, universities, and companies to help Chicago become a data-driven city.
We’ll post to this blog and provide updated on OpenGrid’s wiki page on details of the call-in/webinar details.