New Interactive Map Helps Residents Report Blizzard Problems

By Victoria Wiedel | Friday, February 4, 2011

Reality struck home yesterday when I saw the alderman’s latest snow removal update and realized no truck was going to plow the alley behind our building. If only I had known about the new website that allows people to post snow removal problems and solutions. Perhaps we could have cleared the whole way out instead of pooping out halfway through?

The awkwardly named “Ask for help, lend a hand: Blizzard 2011” site was recently created using an open-source mapping tool called Crowdmap. Now people with entrenched cars and drifting alleys can post their pleas for help using a simple online form, email, or even via text message.

An interactive map displays location-based data that is categorized by type such as road or sidewalk problem, power outage, or plow needed (good luck with that one!). Sadly, few solutions or victories are showing at this time.

We were luckily saved by the knight in shining armor who operates Stanley Brown jewelry store (4751 N. Lincoln Ave) when he brought out his snow blower, but you don’t have to rely on the kindness of serendipitous strangers. Let’s put these social media tools to work!

The ChicagoSnow Crowdmap site shows problem areas in real time.

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