I work with open data and create tools in Chicago to improve the public good. Read more »
Founder and Partner at
A civic technology and consulting company in Chicago
Lead Organizer of
Chi Hack Night
Chicago's weekly event to build, share & learn about civic tech
Group that create apps with open data to improve transparency and understanding of our government
I've give talks on my experiences starting a civic tech company, DataMade, building civic apps with Open City, and organizing the Chi Hack Night. If you'd like to book me for a speaking event, shoot me an email.
Here are some of my more popular slides:
I participated in a panel discussion with Mike Fourcher, founder of Aldertrack, and Sun-Times reporter Dan Mihalopolous about the ethics in using open data.
I presented with Dan Cooper, co-executive director of the Institute of Social Exclusion at Adler University, on Chicago’s Million Dollar Blocks, a project that looks atthe impact of incarceration at the city block level. I shared the process of transforming data and text into an interactive story on the web and Dan explored the research and policy implications.
I spoke with Kyla Williams, Tom Schenk Jr, Christopher Whitaker, Sally Duros and Adam Hecktman on the state of open data in Chicago, Cook County and Illinois. See the full recap here.
At the 2015 Socrata Customer Summit, I spoke about my experiences organizing the Chi Hack Night, as well as opening up Illinois campaign finance data and building IllinoisSunshine.org. Here are my slides, titled The Long and Winding Road: Opening Data from the Outside
Trying to grow civic hacking in your community? Learn how the Chi Hack Night went from four nerds sitting in a room to a weekly event with 80-100 talented volunteers working to create more just, equitable, transparent, and delightful cities through exciting applications of data and technology.
I participated in a panel discussion with Scott Kennedy, Suzanne McBride, Kent Redfield, Eric van Zanten and Miriam Marks on campaign disclosure in Illinois. It was an especially exciting to be on the same panel as Kent, who is one of the leading experts on Illinois campaign disclosure. He actually wrote the book on it: Money Counts: How Dollars Dominate Illinois Politics and What We Can Do About It.
In an interview with the Better Government Association, I talk about the Chi Hack Night, DataMade and the work we are doing to improve our government and society. Read the full article.
Forest Gregg and I of DataMade highlighed how we, and members of the open gov community in Chicago are using data to make convincing public arguments for policy changes.
We went over real-world examples and give a ‘soup to nuts’ overview of how each was made and the impact that followed:
On WBEZ's Tech Shift week in review, I talked about President Obama’s new executive orders on cybersecurity, Gov. Rauner’s announcement about a new innovation council, using open data to keep those in power accountable when it comes to snow plowing and Facebook’s new way to manage user accounts after they’ve passed away. Also on the panel: Jill Salzman of The Founding Moms blog.
I talk about ClearStreets.org, a website that tracks where Chicago snow plows have been, how and why we built it, and using open data to investigate how the City responds to snow events.
A few hours after this interview, the Chicago Sun-Times published this story, which I helped investigate: The snowplows hit Ald. Burke's street — five times.
Chicago has one of the most successful and vibrant open data communities. Straight from the front lines, Derek Eder shares what’s worked to build Chicago’s ecosystem, and the secret sauce that keeps it innovating and growing.
Demond Drummer and I share the story of how community organizers, technologists, and the City of Chicago collaborated to roll out a new program to give local residents ownership of vacant land in their neighborhood and incentivize neighborhood-level investment.
I gave a presentation to the Chicago Computation Group, a meetup of interdisciplinary design professionals practicing architecture, structural and mechanical engineering, environmental designers, and researchers from various fields advancing design thinking through the use of advanced computation.
I talked about the history of open government in Chicago, current landscape of our maturing civic tech community, the role of "Big Data" on public policy and the tools we must create to delineate this data. An interesting discussion of the bias of data or its visualizations led to an even more interesting discussion about the role of the designer within public policy.
As of today the mid-term elections are only three months away. Between now and November 4th, campaigns will be frantically raising and spending as much money as they can. While candidates do need to disclose their spending this information isn't that easy to find, and it can be even harder to analyze. Well, that process got a little easier last week with the launch of ElectionMoney.org.
The site collects information on candidates, contributions, spending and more, and makes it free to download. It’s intended for people who are serious about finding out information about campaign finance, especially journalists, researchers and analysts.
Joining us to talk about the site are two of its creators, Derek Eder, owner of civic data company DataMade, and David Melton, Executive Director of the nonpartisan Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.
Derek Eder is co-founder of Open City, a collective that makes civic apps with open data. Through Open City's Open Gov Hack Night and on his own, Eder is tackling social and environmental issues like urban flooding, recycling, zoning, crime, vacant and abandoned buildings in Chicago and more by creating a new paradigm for civic engagement.
This weekend, the Chicago area saw thunderstorms and nearly two inches of rain bringing flooding, power outages and the release of sewage into the Chicago River. It’s no secret that the city releases untreated waste and storm-water into the river, but now it’s easier to find out where and when its happening. One site looking into this is appropriately called IsThereSewageInTheChicagoRiver.com. Co-founder of civic hacking group Open City and one of the site's creators, Derek Eder, joins us with more.
Join Derek Eder as he discusses how an Open Government has led to many innoations in the Chicago Civic App community. Also there will be a live showcasing of many open source civic apps built for and by Chicagoans. These include, but are not limited to Chicago Lobbyists, 2nd City Zoning and Councilmatic.
Presentation slides: Open Government in Chicago
There is more public information available online than ever before and there is an effort toward standardizing certain data sets and make them useful by the public. Derek Eder, co-founder of DataMade and the Open Gov Hack Night , Joe Germuska, chief nerd of the Knight Lab at Northwestern and Paul Wright is the Director of Local Media Development for Comcast/NBCUniversal, which includes managing EveryBlock, will discuss advancements.
The public struggles of healthcare.gov have brought unusual attention to the process of how governments choose the companies who provide their technology. Is IT so specialized that the government needs to contract IT companies for their projects? Derek Eder, owner of DataMade, an open data web development consulting company in Chicago, joins us in studio. He's experienced firsthand the difficulty of working through the city's procurement process. Plus, Dan O'Neil, the executive director at Smart Chicago Collaborative and an organizer of the OpenGovChicago meetup, also joins us.
At Cloud Camp's Industry Night, I tell Chicago's story of open government, open data and civic tech innovation.
I was invited by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to give a talk in Berlin to the Senior Budget Officials network on performance and results at the Bundesminister der Finanzen. I covered new ways and tools of visualizing budgets to the public in easy-to-access and easy-to-understand formats.
Presentation slides: Visualizing Budgets
Workshop on the uses of Fusion Tables and Google Maps in the context of non-profits and social science analyists and researchers.
Do you use data and statistics to show the impact your organization makes in our community? Finding and using data to narrate your organization’s story doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as it may seem. We’ll introduce you to methods that will help you collect useful documents and find meaning in your research. Then learn how Chicago journalists and data crunchers use data sets and public records to perform investigative journalism and how you can apply these same techniques in your own storytelling.
This workshop will focus on free tools used to create stories around data with geographic breakdowns. Mapping is one of the core elements of visual communication, information, and geographic information. It’s not about creating charts; it’s all about insights on your data.
What's the OpenGov thing all about anyway? In my first ever Pecha Kucha-style talk, I make an attempt to summarize 7 years of Open Government history in 6 minutes and 20 seconds. See how it all started, who the key players are, and where we're going from here.
The Data Science Collaborative, a multi-disciplinary group helping lead the way for data science innovation in Chicago, explores Chicago's open government and transparency initiatives through a wide range of perspectives — including the public, private, academic, and nonprofit sectors.
An interview with Juan-Pablo Velez, myself and other civic hackers by Julie Cooper of the Chicago Policy Review. We discuss the Open Gov Hack Night, open data, how data can change policy, and ways for anyone to get involved in using data to improve governance.
My extended interview by Socrata on open data, government technology, civic volunteerism and making a living as a civic developer.
The Society of Professional Journalists JournCamp is a daylong workshop of practical, skills-based professional development sessions for journalist. I led a session on how to get started with Google Fusion Tables and showed some examples of what's possible. Check out the presentation notes.
The Master's in Learning and Organizational Challenge program at Northwestern hosts a quarterly meeting for their sudents and alums. For this event, we had a screening of Design & Thinking and a follow-up panel featuring myself, Jordan Bunker from Pumping Station One, designer Teresa Torres, and Jeanne Marie Olson from Northwestern.
At the 91st Annual ACP/CMA National College Media Convention held in Chicago, I led a jounalist workshop on the uses of Fusion Tables and Google Maps in the context of journalism projects.
Data Camp is a day-and-a-half crash course in online and open source data tools for beginners. I led off the first day by giving an overview of Google's Fusion Tables, it's features, and some of the projects I've built using it.
At this monthly meetup, I gave an overview of some of the open source mapping projects I've worked on with Open City and independently. Sorry, no video for this one, but my presentation notes are available.
A 60-minute webinar on how government data can offer new opportunities to digital entrepreneurs and startups. Also featuring former Cook County CIO Greg Wass, Cook County Director of Capital Planning John Cooke, Stephen Newell from IBM, Executive Director of the Smart Chicago Collaborative Daniel X. O'Neil, and SpotHero co-founder Jeremy Smith.
A panel discussion on open data and apps built with them. Several of our Open City projects were discussed, namely Chicago Lobbyists, Look at Cook and ClearStreets. Hosted by Chicago Tonight's Phil Ponce, featuring Chicago CTO John Tolva, Chad W. Pry and me.