If it feels like roads around Baton Rouge have gotten a bit less bumpy, thank the city-parish's IT department.
Over the past few months, the number of pot holes on city-parish roads went from more than 4,000 to fewer than 1,000, said Warren Kron, manager of East Baton Rouge's Geographic Information Systems.
His team makes maps and manages data for the local government. Previously, public works employees responded to complaints in the order they were received, but they've been working with the Information Services Department to map complaints so they can fix groups of potholes more efficiently rather than driving to disparate sites around the parish, Kron said.
Warren Kron stood in front of a map of East Baton Rouge splattered in green. Each dot represents a person who had called for rescue during the…
As part of GIS Day at the Main Library at Goodwood, he talked Wednesday about various ways East Baton Rouge is using data to work faster and smarter. Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome reminded attendees that the city-parish recently hosted a regional GIS conference and won recognition for its technological ventures.
"We have made tremendous strides in recent years," she said.
Next on the horizon will be a partnership with LSU and the Google-owned traffic app Waze. The city-parish began sharing road closure data with the company about a year and a half ago. In exchange, Waze gave the city-parish access to user-reported road problems.
Now, the city-parish is trying to use the Waze data to figure out how to help traffic flow more smoothly.
The government is a few weeks away from inking an agreement with LSU, and Information Services Director Eric Romero says he hopes the students and professors can help analyze all the traffic data, as other cities like Los Angeles and Louisville, Kentucky.
Speakers also reminded attendees about products created in the past year that the public can access.
Open Neighborhood BR can show users where crimes, fires, 311 complaints and building permits have occurred across the city-parish. Users may also sign up for e-mail alerts to get a heads-up any time something of note happens close to their own homes, Kron added.
Curious denizens of East Baton Rouge Parish now have an easier way of checking on police activity in their neck of the woods, whether a neighb…
The East Baton Rouge Stormwater Management map uses federal weather data to track river levels in real time. Created after last summer's flood, color-coded icons show at a glance where the water is rising and falling.
Speakers also encouraged the public to weigh in on the city-parish's open data policy, which Broome said will go before the Metro Council for approval next month. The policy outlines how municipal data will be shared with the public and Kron said the goal is to make data openly available by default. Members of the public still have some time to give feedback on the ordinance.
Kron said he's working with the library system to schedule public informational sessions next year to help residents navigate the city-parish's offerings as more data becomes available.