Yesterday, we had a meeting with community partners from the Westside where we presented our work on RatWatch thus far. The focus was on the usage of the app, both from an individual aspect and a community aspect. Users generally did not have a problem using the app, although some preferred to send images first. However, the bigger concern was actually engaging people to text in when they did see a rat, especially on the westside where there were significantly fewer reports were than on the eastside of Atlanta.
As RatWatch is meant to be a tool for data collection that eventually leads to advocacy, a lack of usage and thus a lack of data presents a challenge. The focus on the modeling side is now to analyze specific code violation and building permit data in a concentrated area to see whether targeted action towards a certain type of code violation affects rat prevalence. This is difficult, however, with the sparsity of data on rat sightings that we currently have, so extrapolation may be necessary.