Updates in store for atxfloods.com
The City of Austin is preparing improvements for ATXfloods.com, a site many people living in flash flood alley rely on for safety.
Monday night city employees met with a room full of talented Austinites to talk about making ATXfloods.com better serve the public.
In 2012 the city launched the site. To-date it has more than 9 million page views from people wanting to know if it's safe getting where they need to go.
"I will check ATX Floods and see how much of the city is really shut down, and then relay that information to the people that need to make that hard decision about if it is safe for people to come into work or not," says Mateo Clarke, Austin resident and brigade captain for Open Austin.
With input from the public, the City of Austin is looking to expand the site's features and functionality by rethinking the best ways to get important information to the public.
"What are the features that are really going to matter to people?" asks Ben Guhin, program lead for the Design Technology and Innovation Fellows Program for the City of Austin.
In a crowded room, developers, designers and data analysts came together for one purpose -- making ATX Floods better for you.
"We want to make it more accessible for everybody who is using Google and Waze," explains Guhin.
"For a person who has been to ATXfloods.com in the past and they are really only interested the crossings near their house … maybe we just show a list of the low-water crossings near their house and whether they're open or closed," Guhin suggested.
Monday the city made an ATXfloods.com presentation to Open Austin -- a volunteer civic tech brigade full of people with the skills to make needed changes happen.
"There is a skills gap and resources gap in the city," says Clarke.
Once the project gets started, it should be completed in about six months. Expect the site to look a lot different and better serve people in communities all across Central Texas.
"We want people inside the city to have as much support as they can because we know the city has limited resources," says Clarke.
A $96,000 grant from the Texas Water Development Board is funding the ATXfloods.com updates. The city is also looking to hire people with development skills to be a part of the team. Find more information on the Design Technology and Innovation Fellows Program here.