This blog will be dedicated to examining and promoting civic data in Chicago, Cook County and Illinois.
WBEZ is partnering with the Smart Chicago Collaborative to promote civic data. This blog will be part of that collaboration.
We'll post original data sets @OpenSocrata
(A visualization by the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility utilizing real patient MRI data displays blood flow of a brain aneurysm.)
Joseph Insley, principal software development specialist at Argonne National Laboratory, gave a presentation about how the lab is using its supercomputer Mira to create visualizations that crunch data at a galactic size and monstrous computation speeds.
Insley works with the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), which allows outside groups to apply for time to use the facilities. (It’s really competitive!
The ALCF uses Mira, said to be the 4th fastest computer in the world, an IBM Blue Gene/Q Supercomputer operating with 768 terabytes of memory 10 petaFLOPS. Insley said this means it can handle 10 quadrillion floating-point operations per second.
Another effort aims to better visualize data using unconventional techniques. This one, dubbed Project Batman, will utilize an immersive, multi-display system called “The Cave.”
The Cave, housed at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has already been used by researchers to visualize environments or biological models.
The display is reminiscent of the computer used by Tom Cruise’s character Chief John Anderton inthe 2002 movie Minority Report. That movie is often cited for its near prescience in predicting the touch-and-swipe interfaces common to iPhones and iPads.
Speaking of Batman, enjoy this video.
The project, which utilized the building footprints from Chicago’s data portal site, is a visual display of the city’s building paired with the addresses and zoning data.
While not clear if the group intends to make prints for art display, users can sift through demolitions, violations and constructions that are visualized on a map canvas created with OpenStreetMap and TileMill.
The app was built by Open City's Built by Cory Mollet and Juan-Pablo Velez from Open City during the Center for Neighborhood Technology’s Reinventing Chicago hackathon.