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City of Chicago Adopts Flu Shot App Built by Civic Hackers

The City of Chicago has announced it’s officially adopting a flu shot app built by volunteer civic hacker Tom Kompare.

The flu shot app provides a quick and easy way for citizens to find where to get a flu shot. Using the page, you can see locations near you for the next seven days or a specific day of the week. Using a GPS enabled device, the app will then give you transit current directions or for a specific day — with just a single click.

“Getting a flu shot is an important part of staying healthy and we encourage all Chicagoans to use our easy-to-use interactive map to find a location to do so right in their community,” said CDPH Commissioner Bechara Choucair, M.D.  “This map is just one of the many innovative approaches the City is taking to ensure the health of all Chicagoans.”

The idea for the app first came during the one of the [The City of Chicago has announced it’s officially adopting a flu shot app built by volunteer civic hacker Tom Kompare.

The flu shot app provides a quick and easy way for citizens to find where to get a flu shot. Using the page, you can see locations near you for the next seven days or a specific day of the week. Using a GPS enabled device, the app will then give you transit current directions or for a specific day — with just a single click.

“Getting a flu shot is an important part of staying healthy and we encourage all Chicagoans to use our easy-to-use interactive map to find a location to do so right in their community,” said CDPH Commissioner Bechara Choucair, M.D.  “This map is just one of the many innovative approaches the City is taking to ensure the health of all Chicagoans.”

The idea for the app first came during the one of the](http://www.meetup.com/OpenGovChicago/) Hack Nights. As part of the Google Places API Challenge, the City had brought several commissions and representatives from city departments together with civic hackers to discuss ways civic hackers could help the City. In attendance was the Chicago Health Department, who was looking to make it easier for people to find where to get flu shots.

Kompare got to work, taking a static website with the flu shot information and converting that into an web application that could be accessed on a mobile device. Kompare had a prototype site out within a week of the initial event. OpenCity was able to provide feedback on the app and help arrange a meeting with the City to discuss it.

Ryan Briones, from the City’s Department of Innovation and Technology assisted with the implementation of the app on the city side. Meanwhile, Kevin Hauswirth with the Mayor’s office helped to guide the project through different city departments such as legal and communications. Smart Chicago Collaborative offered to host the app on its servers. Thanks to partnerships between the civic hackers, Smart Chicago Collaborative, and the City of Chicago, the app was rolled out less than a month after it’s inception.

“Helping make City data more accessible and understandable is my way of giving back to Chicago, a sort of e-volunteerism,” said Kompare.  “Chicago has made public a really impressive amount of data and it’s up to developers like us to make this data more useful for everyday Chicagoans.”

The app is open source and could be easily be adopted by other cities. It’s written in JavaScript and uses Google Fusion Tables to hold data about flu shot locations and times. Civic hackers who are interested in replicating this in their cities are encouraged to fork the project on GitHub or contact Tom directly.

 

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