Last week, NBC shuttered the hyperlocal news portal EveryBlock.com, and laid off its few full-time staffers. The decision was a poor one, and a blow for civic activists all over. It’s a shame, given how many examples of great civic science there are.
I got interested in the topic after spending some time talking to several activists who showed me the power of some very simple tools, and who are using a range of technology to get more citizens engaged in their communities.
Civic science means many things, but one definition that I like is: The willingness to collaborate and invent open-source and other low-cost solutions using publicly released data to solve challenges relevant to our cities. You can find out more about what citizen hackers are doing in my latest post for Internet Evolution here.