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Hacknight #94 with William Wolfe-Wylie

Civic Tech Toronto hacknight presentation with William Wolfe-Wylie

Civic Tech Toronto hacknight presentation with William Wolfe-Wylie

Presenter: William Wolfe-Wylie (@wolfewylie)

William is a developer at CBC News where he builds public- and journalist-facing tools to help tell stories and gather data.

William will demo a scraper and API endpoint built to track Toronto homeless shelter usage when the City of Toronto declined to provide regular historical data.

Attendance: 60 hackers!

Breakout Groups

Project Lead Description / Needs
Civic Tech 101 Maju Come here if it’s your first time!
Data 102
Guerrilla Archiving
Project Lab
Why Should I Care?
TTC dashboard
Web development and annual scorecard – UI designer/economist/researcher
Demystifying municipal campaigns/uploading content – feedback on orientation
Self-directed learning – people who want to learn a language
Saving government data – programming skills – nodejs, python, other languages!
If you’ve already been to Civic Tech 101 but haven’t landed in a project yet
Need help getting media material online/building engagement platform
Display more meaningful TTC data – play with arrival data

1 thought on “Hacknight #94 with William Wolfe-Wylie”

  1. Notes from Project Lab:

    Intros: name, and a thing in the city that’s important to you. (not just civic tech)

    Marc: king st pilot
    Kejo: shelter & essential services
    Krista: free transit
    Denis: neighbourhoods
    Anuta: volunteering, sharing, donating
    Sharon: precarious work
    Juri: ttc culture
    Jay: ttc metropasses; why do we need a new one every month? since prestos have a chip


    Sharon: ttc culture thing would make an amazing web comic series
    Kejo: i took a course called aboriginal world view, and took an anthropological view of transit. people getting into metal boxes to get moved around
    Denis: there’s a cultural etiquette. a lot of it is learned through experience. like moving back in the streetcar
    Juri: they’re doing a poster campaign of (fake?) tweets about transit etiquette
    in other places, they squeeze in more. if we did that here, we could avoid the need for additional infrastructure
    Gabe: there’s a simple need for more transit
    Marc: there’s a lack of options
    the King St pilot will be more of a cultural experiment
    small interventions can reveal people’s high degree of adaptability
    like when the elevated highway in SF fell down in the earthquake; they never rebuilt it
    Kejo: giving people a view into transit congestion — quick, catch THIS bus! or have dinner now and wait ’til later
    Denis: the reverse is true too: it’d be helpful for TTC to know how many people are waiting at each stop
    Marc: increasing the overall capacity of the system by reducing pressure at peak times. TTC doesn’t have to lead this
    Krista: lots of people can’t afford ttc. one way that organizations help now is to give people tokens to help them participate in events.
    but tokens are going away in January
    Calgary launched a $5 bus pass. if you qualify as low income.
    Marc/Kejo: some cities have paper RFID cards
    Krista: idea: a project to show how much we’re spending on drivers versus
    it’d be amazing if we could email it to people
    Anuta: promo code? that’s only active during specific hours, even?

    who to talk to about this? City of Toronto: transportation services (since they’re here), TESS, SSHA. And Metrolinx

    i started working on a project for the youth employment challenge a few months ago. a tool to help find jobs
    should I pursue it? let it die? is it relevant?
    the project scrapes the Canada Job Bank for jobs, and plots them on a map. also, anyone can add jobs to a map — you don’t have to be an employer
    also, volunteer positions
    the Parkdale piece came in when Mercedes came in, with this big platform they have planned
    about maintaining jobs in the Parkdale neighbourhood, and making it easy for residents to find those jobs
    they already have a land use map, and they wanted to add a layer for it, with jobs
    i don’t want to do it alone!
    Gabe: it’s a tough and common problem for newish projects!
    Krista: have you thought about approaching a media partner? like blogto?
    Sharon: i was thinking about Bunz employment group. there’s so many people posting in there, but the jobs get lost
    Denis: is there a list of projects, which have partially-complete projects?
    Gabe: maybe look to find a subject-matter expert partner?

    Marica: I’d like to make a short funny video about accessibility
    Denis: there’s an informal community of practice around accessibility at the city. they had an accessibility group last week.

    Anuta: I went to GBC, and there’s a bunch of men’s shelters in the neighbourhood.
    i’m wondering about volunteering in shelter kitchens
    i think there are people who’d be willing to help, but don’t know where to start

    Gabe: it’s a little like the challenge we have at civic tech
    Marc: you could prototype a solution here

    – transit accessibility
    – crowdsourcing local job opportunities
    – making it easier to connect skilled volunteers with relevant volunteer roles

    Feedback for Gabe:
    Denis: maybe using this as a place to refine a pitch
    at first i thought it was: how to make a project idea a successful pitch.
    depending on what your problem statement is, here’s how to frame your ask
    Krista: I liked hearing a project example (Large Lots)

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