Code for America launches (Trailsy)

So, I wrote earlier this year about Code for America starting a project in Akron.

Well, today the project was released to the public for beta testing!

Code for America announcement here:

Local press release here:

Check out the application here:

The creators of this piece of software aim to solve the problem of mapping Cuyahoga Valley National Parks’ extensive trails that covers Summit and Cuyahoga counties.

See if you can use it via a browser on your computer or phone.

Chances are if you like the trails today, you’ll love them tomorrow.

Also, if you don’t see a feature, feel free to contribute the feature in your mind on the project’s github account:

If you’re in town (Cleveland/Akron), be sure to visit these fine meetups if this is not enough information for you:

If you’re interested in the technologies used for all of this:

Oh, and thanks to the Ohio and Erie Canal Coalition and other partners for opening up their data!

Happy Mapping!

Code for America: Highlight Summit County

I participated in Code for America today, and wanted to share some resources.

code for america
code for america

I was glad to meet with Alan Williams, Dan Avery and Katie Lewis who traveled innumerable miles from California for this event. Wanted to thank them publicly. Also wanted to thank the Akron Art Space for hosting them.

I was there early, and assisted a bit with organizing the event.

The main entrance:



The breakfast nook:


I met Xander and Trever from SYN/HAK:

Xander and Trever from SYN/HAK
Xander and Trever from SYN/HAK

Trever gave a lightning talk on SYN/HAK the link to which I will embed later.

I met Tony Troppe, SYN/HAK’s awesome physical space provider:



Tony gave a great talk on the future plans for the Cascade Lofts (a.k.a. Abtek Building)  part of his “NOHO” plan. (check out video below)

build in places where people to live so that they can hook into this pedestrian highway. This is not working, so umm we’re just going to talk about what I’m working on right now which is, right at Lock 15. Right on the towpath trail across from the musthill store which was an old umm umm meats and provision grocery store and then had a lock keeper’s house that was renovated probably in the past 5 10 years by a grass organization group – Cascade Lofts Park Association. And what they did was they built the awareness of this great historic amenity, and its blossomed into a group that has sustainability issues at the forefront of their thinking, historic preservation and heightening awareness that this is a great amenity so, across the canal there was an old warehouse. It was built in 1904, it was 45000 square feet, three levels, and I’m looking at putting a group of about 23 apartments in there, opportunity for artists and mixed use space, mercantile as well as a brew pub. And it’ll be all done with a green building initiative and green building practices and creating a sustainable landscape. Its these types of projects that I think are on the forefront of leading the direction, giving people an alternative to moving out, moving away, move back in and have an environment thats less automobile dependent and gives people an opportunity to practice in wellness opportunities, putting your bodies in motion and thinking that there’s better or a different way, there’s an alternative and I think a lot of people are forced into situations because they are not aware of the opportunities, they are not aware of projects that are going on that are urban, that are safe, that are clean and green. So I’m looking at this project at North and Howard, as NoHo.

Its a fun amalgamation. The history of the place is that it was a great place for music and jazz on that corridor and it was more than a cultural activity it had an underbelly, that meant that there was a seedy element that came out. And so its appropriate now to call it NoHo, it could be called NoMoHo, but in reality it’s really an opportunity to elevate the conciousness as it interacts with a towpath trail that is main identity of the area.

So that’s what I got!

And I was 4 minutes and 20 seconds.

If you are reading this and interested in Tony’s project, follow this link:

I loved hearing the keynote speaker Dan Rice from the Ohio & Erie Canalway discuss his organizations’ goals and his excitement for the Code for America event.

Dan Rice

I met Pat Lorch and his graduate students that are working on Center for Ecology and Natural Resource Sustainability. One student, Steve impressed me as he was able to apply python to his field of work proactively!

Pat Lorch

I met Steve Mather from Cleveland Metroparks and was floored with his demo of their website You should really get to know this website if you visit the metroparks frequently.


I met Summit County Council At Large Sandra Kurt who was kind enough to add me on her facebook. We talked about the problem of storm water accumulation leading to flooding and how there is some monies required to pursue more programs, but as always there is a shortage of funds. We chatted a lot about harnessing a solution using engineering, which I do plan to follow up with her in coming months.


I met the great Persa Zula who promised that she will reserve 3/7 and 4/18 as follow up dates for those attendees that would like to follow up today’s meetup.


During the sessions we worked on:

where you can see how the attendees organized their thoughts about Summit County.

Alan took some notes while doing a retrospective, so I post them here for the Akron community to work on in the coming months.