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City Scrapers: Open Coding Session

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Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago Public Library

400 South State Street

7th Floor North

Chicago, IL 60605

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Public meetings are important spaces for democracy where any resident can participate in civic life and hold public figures accountable. But how does the public know when meetings are happening? It isn’t easy! These events are spread across dozens of websites, rarely in useful data formats.

That’s why we're working with a team of civic coders to develop and coordinate the City Scrapers, a community open source project designed to standardize, scrape and share these meetings in a central database, in collaboration with City Bureau's Documenters program.

What can you learn from working on the City Scrapers project?

A lot about cities! What is Chicago's City Council talking about this week? What are Local School Councils, and what community power do they have? What neighborhood is the police department doing outreach in? Who governs our water?

From building a scraper, you'll gain experience with:

  • how the web works (HTTP requests and responses, reading HTML)
  • writing functions and tests in Python
  • version control and collaborative coding (git and Github)
  • a basic data file format (json), working with a schema and data validation
  • problem solving, finding patterns, designing robust code

RSVP to join our next Open Coding Session.

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Date and Time

Location

Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago Public Library

400 South State Street

7th Floor North

Chicago, IL 60605

View Map

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