Convergence Media Web/Tech MSM Answer to the Hyperlocal Challenge?

The latest hyperlocal startup is EveryBlock: type your zip code or neighborhood name into the search box, and you’ll be rewarded with a hyperlocal “news” report that is based on public records, geo-tagged material pulled from RSS feeds (news sites, blogs), geo-tagged Flickr photos and postings from Craigslist and Yelp. (tip)

Test a sample: Belltown (Seattle), Dupont Circle (DC), Germantown (Philly), Greenville (Charlotte), Greenwich Village (NYC), Hyde Park (Boston), Nob Hill (SF).

The founder, Adrian Holovaty, believes “data can tell a story” and set about to turn that belief into reality. EveryBlock is being jumpstarted with a $1.1 million grant from the Knight Foundation.

There are currently eight cities available: Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC. There will be two more before the grant expires next year. The project is ahead of schedule.

EveryBlock grew out of Holovaty’s website, a mashup of Google maps and publicly available crime statistics. The data from that site are incorporated into EveryBlock.

A geeky journalist, Holovaty developed Django, “the web framework for perfectionists with deadlines,” while working at the Lawrence, KS Journal-World. While at the Washington Post, he used Django to create “Faces of the Fallen,” a database of US soldiers who had died in Aghanistan and Iraq, and Congress Votes, which contains every vote in Congress since 1991.

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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