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Everyblock's Code is Open-Sourced

everyblock

The code for Adrian Holovaty’s Everyblock has been released. The open-sourcing of the site’s system were apart of the Knight News Challenge Program. Everyblock is a very impressive site that aggregates and geocodes local data — news, crime, fire, restaraunt inspections and reviews – and then lets users define their interests down to the block-level.

Adrian made the announcement on 6/30. Here’s the list of newly open-sourced, GPL’d goodies found on Everyblock’s new Code page:


The main package (probably the thing you’re looking for) is the publishing system, known as ebpub.

Second, the packages ebdata and ebgeo contain Python modules for processing data and making maps.

Third, the packages ebinternal and everyblock round out the code that powers EveryBlock.com. They’re internal tools and are likely not of general use, but we’re including them to be complete.

Finally, ebblog and ebwiki are our blog and wiki software, respectively. Because, dammit, the world needs another Django-powered blogging tool.

Django fans, Python geohackers and anyone who wants to build a local data aggregator are going to be thrilled. Adrian was one of the co-creators of Django and was one of the first Google Maps Mashup creators.

seattle news

Everyblock has only launched in major US cities. There’s plenty of room in the market for locals to create their own version. Everyblock spends a lot of time curating the incoming data feeds so I doubt that anyone will be able to roll out new sites too quickly. One thing to note: the trademark Everyblock is not available. However, the Everyblock team would not mind being acknowledged if you use their code. Personally I get a lot of value of Everyblock in my city. I get a daily email with all the crime, news and errata near my house.

Everyblock is now going to move onto the second stage of its existence. About five months Adrian blogged about the dilemna they would be facing when they open-sourced their software. As he said at the time:

But now we’ve reached an interesting point in our project’s growth: our grant ends on June 30, and, under the terms of our grant, we’re open-sourcing the EveryBlock publishing system so that anybody will be able to take the code to create similar sites. That’s a Good Thing, in that EveryBlock’s philosophies and tools will have the opportunity to spread around the world much faster than we could have done on our own, but it puts the six of us EveryBlockers in an odd spot. How do we sustain our project if our code is free to the world?

At the time I suggested that they try to federate with new everyblocks. After yesterday’s announcement I mailed Adrian to ask him for a hint about their future plans, but for now he’s keeping mum.

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  • http://friendfeed.com/webmaven Michael R. Bernstein

    I wish they were publishing the code via a source control system, rather than these tarballs.

  • Arnie
  • http://friendfeed.com/webmaven Michael R. Bernstein

    Thanks for the link, but that’s just someone who took the tarballs and checked them in.

    My point was that EB seems to just be throwing this code over the transom, with little to no intention to maintain it, develop it further, or foster a developer community around it.

  • http://friendfeed.com/webmaven Michael R. Bernstein

    And here is an email thread that makes it explicit: http://groups.google.com/group/ebcode/browse_thread/thread/5e81916336a731f6

  • Graham Perrin

    Quoted text contains some relative links that should be made absolute.

    (No need to publish this comment.)