Monday, February 18, 2008

There be potholes here

I honestly feel for my media friends a lot of the time. I can see how it goes. The snow melts and the editor says there is a story in the magnitude of potholes that abound across the city. Potholes in Pittsburgh in the early spring.. no way! Can it really be that much fun to go and do that story again? Actually I feel as much for Guy Costa who must answer the questions put to him about whether he was aware of the potholes that have cropped up so unexpectedly. I'd be so fired in that job in that I would be a little too honest in answering those questions.

Can you do something more creative on the pothole story. Maybe. Last year I pointed out some work done in Cincinatti to make this map of their pothole situation:

The original story link seems to be expired so I went to take a look at the CinciNavigator, which is a neat mapping tool being run by the Cincinatti Enquirer... to see if they have followed up and incorporporated potholes into their system... It does not look like they have, but it does have some other neat stuff. Forgetting potholes for a minute, on that site you can click on what are called "smoking complaints" to get a map of where such police calls were generated. They are also plotting out everyones dog licenses. Just seems to me that with the new 311 service up and running, if somone were logging the details of the calls coming in, it would not be hard for someone to make some maps like that.

2 Comments:

Blogger Matthew said...

I'd bet it'd be an expensive undertaking for Pittsburgh to pursue. I know Mt. Lebanon has something like that and it's not cheap, even for a city as relatively small as Mt.L.

See http://mtlebanon.org/DocumentView.asp?DID=820 for more info...

Thursday, February 21, 2008 9:44:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

We do have a pretty complete GIS system for the city. Unfortunately its not completely for public use at this point. We have about 70 layers of data indexed to every parcel in the city. So the infrastructure is there, but collecting data on potholes would be the issue, I'm guessing that Cinci map was some self-reported pothole data. Maybe Pokey could be put to some real work?

Thursday, February 21, 2008 10:09:00 PM  

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