How did you us the data set(s) in your Submission?
I wrote several scripts that scraped over 1000 pages of PDFs and then used pattern matching to parameterize the data into numbers, titles, body, lists, etc. This data was then uploaded into a postgresql which powers the app.
What problem/challenge is your Submission helping to solve, and how?
Buried at the bottom of the Belleville City Clerk’s webpage are 70 PDFs containing the city’s revised ordinances. One of these PDFs, the Zoning Ordinance, is 112 pages alone. There is no easy way to search, navigate, or discuss these documents. I programmatically extracted the information from these PDFs, and put them on the web and added user commenting to allow for two-way communication between those who write the law and those who must abide by it.
What community members will your Submission help serve, and how will they be impacted?
Making this information easily available lowers the friction of starting a business, or constructing a new building. If you would like to start a restaurant, pawn shop, antique shop, tattoo parlor, jewelry store, or laundromat, you should know that there are specific ordinances governing those kinds of establishments. You can find those within two clicks of the home page here. If you are an electrician, or plumber, or homeowner, you can find those ordinances within a single click.
How do you envision city and/or state government utilizing your Submission to make a positive impact on the Pilot Community of State of Illinois?
Philosophically speaking, well informed citizens make for a better community. How can citizens follow the law if they don’t know what the law is?
Fill out my online form.