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Top 5 Hackathon Projects for the Environment

By Sean Thompson / October 5, 2015

Hackathons are a great way to address environmental concerns. Here are my five favorite examples of environmental hackathon projects: Triple Active Transport: MIT’s first Clean Earth Hackathon brought teams together specifically to target complex sustainability challenges. Among the winning projects, Houston Cyclists and Complete Streets enthusiasts might be interested in Team Cosmopolitan’s app Triple Active Transport which…

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Recap of the Houston Controller Forum About Technology

By Jeff Reichman / October 8, 2015

This morning was the first debate of its kind, anywhere in the US. The six candidates for Houston City Controller gathered at the Houston Technology Center to discuss… technology. The City Controller is Houston’s Chief Financial Officer. They are responsible for communicating financial issues to the public, reporting on our finances, and auditing the city…

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New Research on Open Data in China

By Bruce Haupt / October 12, 2015

I received a note today from my friend Feng Gao (高丰) letting me know about a research piece on open data in China that was just published (here’s the social media posting). It’s an absolutely superb article on #OpenData in seven leading cities in #China by Dr. Zheng Lei of Fudan University & Dr. Feng Gao of…

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Blueprint Houston Mayoral Forum Takeaways

By Sean Thompson / October 13, 2015

At 9a on a Saturday morning, January Advisors collectively yawned and rolled over to the Blueprint Houston Mayoral Forum at Houston Community College. The topic of the day was the City of Houston General Plan, and we knew a little bit about how that unfolded. We had a few takeaways: The candidates all supported the…

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Bad Ideas: LCRA Defies the Texas Open Records Law

By Sachin Shah / December 9, 2015

The Lower Colorado River Authority, the largest water and power supplier in Central Texas, has authoritatively said NO to releasing data backing their claim that a $255 million reservoir it is building in southeast Texas won’t reduce freshwater flows into Matagorda Bay enough to hurt aquatic life. That’s right. Aquatic life that is essential for a…

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Learn About the Houston Economy Through Spending Data

By Jeff Reichman / December 15, 2015

What does the Houston economy look like through the eyes of our credit and debit cards? A new study from the JP Morgan Chase Institute analyzed debit and credit card spending patterns in 15 US cities. There’s a lot that it can show us about how spending patterns differ with age, income bracket, and location throughout…

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Houston Maps and Data: May 2016

By Jeff Reichman / May 2, 2016

This is our monthly series Houston Maps and Data, where we provide a roundup of interesting Houston stories using maps and data that help us understand the region by the numbers. In mid-April, the Houston area saw unprecedented flooding. There are a lot of attempts to explain why, but before you go down that rabbit…

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Finding your Houston civic club

By Jeff Reichman / September 15, 2016

There are over 200 civic clubs in the City of Houston. They have fancy names, like Timbergrove Manor and University Oaks. Some of them even have websites. But what do they actually do, and why should you get involved? What are civic clubs? Civic clubs are the most immediate, neighborhood-level form of public sector engagement.…

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Houston Maps and Data – October 2016

By Jeff Reichman / October 5, 2016

It’s been a few months since I’ve posted a roundup of Houston-focused maps and data projects. There have been some really great stories while I’ve been gone. Here are some of my favorites: Find chemical storage facilities in your neighborhood We have very little idea of where dangerous chemicals are stored throughout Houston. This was clear in…

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My Favorite Spotify Hacks (so far)

By Jeff Reichman / March 24, 2014

I love Spotify. Since I joined in 2011, I’ve changed the way I share music with my friends, how I discover new artists, and even how I pay for music. I pay ten bucks a month for a premium account. I listen to a lot of music. Despite Spotify’s contribution to shrinking artist royalties and…

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