MAPIT, or Mapping Police In teraction, is a web application that allows users to submit reports on police interactions. The goal is to aggregate data, allowing the public to use this information for a variety of things, ranging from keeping the police accountable, to identifying areas of over policing, to tackling problems of systemic nature through the identification of trends in data.
With increased attention drawn towards the systemic problems such as racism that can be found in police forces and the lack of data regarding it, we decided to build a program that would give power back to the people and constituents who would be able to use this data to not only educate people around them but be used to support the development of better policies, regulations and laws on all levels of government.
What it does
Users would enter information regarding the police interaction through a form. The form stores the information in a database, which can then be used to extract useful trends and data for the stats page and the map. Users will then be able to view the data by interacting with the map as well as graphs and tables on the stats page.
How we built it
- Python with a Flask framework and SQLite database for backend
Challenges we ran into
- Figuring out how to use mapping APIs well to overlay important data
- Connecting SQLite database to chart.js to create a dynamic graph
- Setting up the development environment (ie. git, local web server set up, etc.)
Accomplishments that we are proud of
- Participate in our first hackathon!
- Made a web app that has functioning parts to it
- Learned a lot of new things (map APIs, CSS/Bootstrap, SQLite, etc)
What we learned
As extremely new hackers, we learned a number of skills that enabled us to become more comfortable with code. For many of the languages and tools that we used today, we had very limited prior experience. Thus, we were able to learn a plethora of new concepts throughout the short time span of this hackathon. Since this was our first time working on a larger project, as well as our first time collaborating on a coding project with peers, we applied teamwork and communication skills.
What's next for MAPIT
- Providing more specific data based on location (by municipality, ward/communities within a municipality)
- Use the other data collected (ethnicity, age, etc) for other data visualization purposes
- Going through the challenges we faced and fixing the problems
- Developing a mobile-friendly website or app for ease of access
- Consider safety issues in terms of location tracking, user safety, etc.
- Polish and improve user interface