OpenBlock: Overview & Initial Experience

A Talk presented by Karen Tracey, Colin Copeland
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Audience level



How To/Intro


September 4th, 2:20 p.m. – 3 p.m.


OpenBlock is an open-source project aiming to provide a framework for "hyper-local" civic data. We've been using OpenBlock in a project focused on increasing access to public records in rural North Carolina communities. In this talk we provide an overview of OpenBlock and how to get started using it, we describe our experience using it, and discuss some extensions we have made to it.



What do you do if EveryBlock isn't available in your city? OpenBlock, released to the community from the Knight-funded project,, is a neighborhood news project aiming to provide a framework for "hyper-local" civic data. Over the past few years, the open source project has been maintained by the non-profit OpenPlans. Their goal was to simplify and accelerate adoption of OpenBlock by making it easier to use. Today, Caktus is working with Ryan Thornburg of the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication to bring OpenBlock to rural North Carolina newspapers. Open Rural aims to leverage OpenBlock to increase access to public records in small communities. This talk focuses on our experience with OpenBlock as we work to deploy OpenRural in North Carolina.




Getting Started: Choosing Source for Street/Block Data


The Missing Piece: Data Review and Analysis

Adding OpenBlock to an Existing Site