14 Jul

LocalData: Better data makes better cities


LocalData is a cloud-based mapping platform for the public sector and non-profit professionals. The application has simple data collection to save time and funds. The focus of LocalData is to collect and analyze information about urban infrastructure. The application is customizable to the application with a custom survey builder. This helps the data collectors to choose from simple options to keep the project organized. The collection can be done on smartphones or tablets and the simple interface makes the information easy to access and submit quickly. Co-founder Alicia Rouault says that “We believe better data makes better cities.”


All data from LocalData can be exported to GeoJSON, CSV, KML, or SHP files to allow use in Microsoft Access/Excel, Google Earth, Fusion Tables, and ESRI ArcGIS. The small but very knowledgeable team consists of coders, an urban planner, an electrical engineer, and a GIS and remote sensing student.

Alicia Rouault explained that “LocalData began as a project at the non-profit Code for America, where we worked as a small innovation team in the City of Detroit’s Mayors Office. Our first goal was to help the City of Detroit understand the status of vacant property to inform policy decisions. We designed LocalData as software to help government understand their issue and have a tool to work with community-based organizations. The result was LocalData — a mobile data collection app and online dashboard to collect and manage data about the built environment.”

LocalData can help every community design its own future. Urban Geography is an important aspect to our future. (The AGS Fall Symposium is about Exploring our Future in an Urbanized World!)

Written by Elise Mazur, 7/14/2015

Leave a Reply