In July 2012 I attended and won the Judge’s Pick at a Hackathon called “Reinvent Green“, organized by NYC.gov at NYU Poly. There I met and teamed up with Anton Granik, a great graphic designer and digital director.
Idea – “Green, Greener, Greenest”!
Our idea was to create a site which could promote competitiveness between boroughs, zip codes or city blocks to be the greenest. I basically imported all the data we needed from NYCGov – that is electrical consumption, trees planted etc into a MySQL database and then indexed it by zip code. Then, Anton designed a front end, and I created some django functionality to let users explore an individual zip code, or see a heat map and ranking of the top zip codes. It took about 15 hours to build.
What could make this idea turn into a real service?
Fresh, reliable data is the biggest problem for this service. We were using NYC OpenData’s datasets, such as “Electric Consumption by Zip Code 2010“. This data contains numerous duplicates and, at the time, was 2 years old. In order for this to work, we would have to had regularly (perhaps monthly) fresh data. The site is currently offline to conserve processing power on my server, but if you want to take a look, tweet to me and I’ll re-enable it 🙂