Down to the Wire

Time is of the essence for the NAP team. We presented the latest iteration of the web platform to the people at New American Pathways and they really liked the tool. The web development aspect of the project is wrapping up but for the next two weeks we’ll be diving deeper into the analytical side of our housing recommendation system.

Along with the layers we’ve added to the tool for visual search, we would like to include a parameter based feature so that the users at Pathways could specify their own criteria and see a dynamic map based on all data they’ve specified and a listing of complexes which most closely match their criteria. Then we can get a holistic idea of which areas and complexes are most promising for our search.

Example of ideal area coloring.
Example of ideal area coloring.

The parameter based recommendation system will use the criteria we’ve gathered already – affordability, access to public transit, retail, jobs, access to essential services, etc…. Users will define the importance – weights – of each criteria and our algorithm will then rank the complexes and show a comprehensive desirability map along with an ordered list of complexes.

We know that the visual search tool will be useful to NAP and we’re anxious to see if they’ll get as much use out of the recommendation system. Although time is limited for the deployment of our tool we would still like to get feedback from NAP so as to possibly further improve the tool after the DSSG fellowship ends.

As for the website, we’ve finished 99% of the functionality and most of the work that remains is cosmetic. Our final presentation is next week in front of the largest audience we’ve seen yet. Wish us luck!