OpenBlock Blog

OpenBlock at Kent State and University of Kansas

We’ve just learned about two efforts to work with OpenBlock at university journalism schools! From

Through a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, AEJMC has funded ten proposals to develop innovative and creative academic applications of projects already funded through the Knight News Challenge…
  • Jacqueline Marino, Kent State University; “OpenBlock Campus”
  • Hyunjin Seo, University of Kansas. (OpenBlock) “LarryvilleKU: Web and Mobile Application of OpenBlock to The Kansan”

This is an America where people still read and trust the local newspaper, where print advertising hasn’t completely migrated online. But it’s also an America where reporters keep their crime database in a 300-page Word document. It’s a place where the inspections department doesn’t have a live XML feed, and where they may even be a little reluctant to give you paper copies if they don’t recognize your face. And it’s a place where a good Python developer is darn hard to find.

OpenBlock Rural is going to help these rural newspapers get ahead of the oncoming wave of digital interlopers by lowering the cost of deploying OpenBlock and using it as a tool to engage younger audiences, as well as increase advertising revenue.

Ryan Thornburg .

OpenBlock 1.1 Released

OpenBlock 1.1 has been released today! Highlights of this release:

  • Big shareable maps, for example
  • Comments on NewsItems.
  • User-contributed “Neighbor Messages” and “Neighbor Events” news types.
  • Better support for running in a multi-city area.
  • Import Places from a CSV file via the admin UI.
  • Date and time picker widgets on forms, where relevant
  • Support for future events, not just recent news.
  • Added scrapers for, Flickr
  • Import locations from shapefiles in the admin UI
  • Import blocks from shapefiles in the admin UI

See the for more details and upgrade instructions.

If you’re installing from scratch, see the (And if you’re in a hurry, try the .)

OpenBlock presentation at PyGotham, 2011-09-16

will talk about OpenBlock, an open-source (GPL) hyperlocal news website / service built on Django. This talk will be an overview of the project: what it does, how it works, its history and future. And a brief live demonstration.

“OpenBlock: Hyperlocal Django”
by Paul Winkler
at 3:15 EDT, Friday 2011-09-16
Room 6


New York City’s first Python programmers conference.
Sept 16th & 17th, 2011
Executive Conference Center: 1601 Broadway – 8th Floor
Entrance on 48th Street, New York, NY 10019

Student with valid ID: $100, Individual: $200, Corporate: $300
(Building entry requires advance registration)

Mobile schedule app:

OpenBlock is OpenPlans’ hyper-local news and data platform. How local? Hyper local, crazy local! Loco local! Your zip code, your neighborhood, your block… Just hitting version 1.0, OpenBlock dries out the crime blotter, stops new pushpins on the wall map, and takes away your village gossip’s exclusive on new stories.
OpenBlock is featured this week on the .