RatWatch: Week 4

We are now midway through week four, and time is flying by. This whole REU is centered on civic data, and last week we really got to explore more of the civics side. With the app deployed to the server and ready for use, we are actively trying to get the  word out to communities on the westside of Atlanta this week by distributing flyers in public spaces and making announcements on neighborhood listservs. Last Saturday, we attended the Proctor Creek Stewardship Council meeting to promote RatWatch to the members present. During the meeting, members from different neighborhoods passionately discussed issues surrounding the Proctor Creek watershed. By observing the council leverage and debate the involvements of local government and organizations, we truly felt that we were witnessing civic engagement at its core.

We also got a chance to present our projects at a civic hack night, which is an event held by Code for Atlanta where technologists and civic-minded people come together to tackle problems the city of Atlanta currently faces. We received a lot of positive feedback from the civic hackers, especially in terms of improving the user interface of the app. We were also able to interact with the civic hacking community in Atlanta by networking with a very diverse set of individuals, and sharing our ideas and passions with other civic-driven people. With one day left until data collection, we will have to work very quickly to implement the feedback we received during testing. We are very happy with the progress we’re making and look forward to seeing the results of our work in the form of crowdsourced data over the coming weeks.