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New Map Has the Details on All Los Angeles Street Construction

Los Angeles is taking a digital step towards mitigating one of its eternal ills: street construction. In the past, one department might tear up an LA street, oblivious to the fact that their work was coming on the heels of a construction project that had just ended. The only authority that could inform them of that was angry drivers—there was no city system in place that told one department what another was doing. That's all changed with the unveiling of Street Wize, an interactive map that visualizes all current and upcoming road construction in the city, reports Governing. It's all part of a move by the city to create an open-data portal that will collect info from every city department into one central location.

Street Wize allows for more efficient planning of LA street closures by making construction projects from various city departments more transparent to one another. When a city agency plans a construction project on LA streets, the location, start/end dates, and type of project are all gathered by the city anyway, and that raw data can be accessed by any city department, but only as a list of text. Not an easy thing to digest, especially with the amount of construction LA streets see on a daily basis.

Street Wize pulls that raw information and automatically inputs it into an interactive map, creating an easy-to-understand visual interpretation of the data. Even better, that data is open to everyone, city officials or regular citizens curious how long their streets will be closed. The fire department is even using Street Wize to speed up response time by avoiding streets under construction.

It's all part of the LA's new GeoHub site, an online gathering point for all city data that Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled in January. Zoning information, public transit lines, locations of fault lines, neighborhood boundaries, and more all get input into GeoHub, and are available to the public at the city's website. More than 500 types of map data in all are uploaded into GeoHub from more than 20 different city departments. Now, various city agencies are able to access information from other departments that would have not easily been obtained in the analogue era, allowing them to better coordinate their activities.

Garcetti's office has already been putting GeoHub data to work for them. In addition to Street Wize, they've also used GeoHub to create two other "flagship applications," the Vision Zero High Injury Network, which maps LA streets and intersections that see a high number of pedestrian accidents, as well as The Road to 2400, which calculates the city's progress in repaving 2,400 miles of road each year.

With the GeoHub infrastructure in place, city officials hope it will spur on other government agencies and private developers to make use of the city's trove of digital information. Now that more than 20 city departments all have access to a comprehensive open-data portal, any number of tools and visuals to aid city planning are possible—maps can be created to track the progress of earthquake retrofits in apartments, or parts of town where zoning restrictions are inhibiting housing density.
· L.A.'s Library of Open Data Sparks Better Government [Governing]