Summer Is Here—and So Are 'Smart Beaches'

A group of "citizen data scientists" produced a predictive analytic model that offers citizens better information about water quality on beaches along Lake Michigan in Chicago.

1 minute read

June 21, 2016, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Chicago Beach

North Avenue Beach in Chicago. | f11photo / Shutterstock

"Chicago is piloting an analytical model to enhance its Park District’s regular beach water quality inspection process," reports Sean Thornton.

"The model aims to predict which beaches may need to close based on likely E. Coli contamination, which will help protect the public by providing more timely advisories," adds Thornton for more detail on the predictive analytics model and its need.

Not only does this predictive analytics model provide a useful example for other cities with similar environmental circumstances, the process that produced the tool is also worth noting. The model was built entirely by volunteers from Chicago's civic tech community. In this case, the model grew from the weekly Chi Hacknight event. Thornton details the process and the people that produced the new beach quality predictive analysis model, thus modeling an example of cooperation between government and civic tech communities to be duplicated in other cities around the country.

Monday, June 20, 2016 in Data-Smart City Solutions

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