01 February 2008

EveryBlock Launches City Info Resource

A new website is aiming to provide city dwellers with an invaluable resource for their stamping ground.

EveryBlock covers New York, Chicago and San Francisco and offers users a hyperlocal search to uncover the latest news articles relevant to them.

The website also brings together a wealth of civic information in the form of searchable databases, which cover crimes reported, restaurant inspections, building violations and much more.

Plus EveryBlock also features “Fun from across the Web”, such as the latest Flickr photos of any given area and reviews of local businesses by user-generated content site Yelp.

“We aim to collect all of the news and civic goings-on that have happened recently in your city, and make it simple for you to keep track of news in particular areas,” says the team’s launch statement.

The team continues: “We’re a geographic filter - a ‘news feed’ for your neighbourhood, or, yes, even your block.”

And the website should act as an inspiration for newspapers looking to expand their online offerings, according to blogger Beth Lawton.

Lawton, who blogs for the Newspaper Association of America, writes of EveryBlock: “Hooray for a journalism-related, database-driven map mash-up that really shows how it should be done!”

She adds: “It’s not entirely unrealistic (ok, perhaps aside from expenses…) for a dedicated group of developers and journalists to build this for their own news site.

“The relationships with the local government should already be in place, and there are a ton of business opportunities here - advertisers can purchase dots, for example, that link to coupons.”

She concludes: “This site is capital-I impressive.

“I’m a huge believer in the journalistic power of databases and this is a great demonstration of that.”

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