We’re pleased to have two proposals in this year’s Knight News Challenge:
Nation of Neighbors (NoN): Improving community welfare through collaborative knowledge
We’d like to use our existing location system to allow wiki style editing of important community resource information. This is probably one of the most requested features on NoN. While we’ll most likely try to implement this with or without support from the Knight Foundation, their support would enable us to build it much more quickly and would result in a better (and open-source) tool.
Nation of Neighbors (NoN): Facilitating Free Decentralized Sharing of Crime and Public Safety Data
There are currently several commercial companies that ‘own’ much of the Country’s crime data. While it’s great that this data is being made available to the public, this data would be more useful if it wasn’t locked away in proprietary databases. Generally, agencies use these commercial companies because of lower overall cost (as opposed to hiring additional staff) and ease of use. We believe that a competitive open source alternative can be created that would allow this data to be more accessible to the public. And would still be available to commercial interests as well. While NoN started out as a crime mapping service, I don’t think that this project would be incorporated into Nation of Neighbors. We would pursue this as a separate project in collaboration other interested developers.