Customer Spotlight: Real World Index

Here’s another installment of the ASO Customer Spotlight, where we take a look at what one of our customers is doing with their space on the web.

Got something interesting you’re doing that you want to share?

Fill out this form for us. If you’re selected, you’ll receive an ASO Moleskine!

Who Are You?

My name is Sam Nabi, and I’m a university student bursting with creative ideas. Music, web development, and politics are just some of the things I’m passionate about.

Based in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, I’m finishing up a degree in urban planning at the University of Waterloo. In the last few years I have done research on transportation and housing issues, and I’m now pursuing an open data project that will let homeless shelters use their resources more efficiently, and allow policymakers to make decisions based on real-time data.

I travel a lot. With family living in five different countries on three different continents, I’ve had the opportunity to take part in cultures outside my own and get motivated by the beauty of what this world has to offer. Much of that motivation finds an outlet in my music – I’ve been writing, recording and producing my own pop-folk tunes since 2007, and I find it grounds me.

I’m a tinkerer; I learn as I go; I do it myself. Whether it be urban issues, open data apps, or songwriting, I’m driven by the question, “What if I do this…?”

What Is Your Website?

http://realworldindex.org 

Why Do People Care About Your Website?

Traffic, weather, stock markets… traditional broadcast media bombards us with real-time updates about these indicators throughout the day. Since we’re told about every dip and surge in the Dow Jones, our society pays attention. We watch the markets and ascribe value to them, not least because they affect many of our bank accounts.

Knowledge is power, and the more information we have access to, the better off we will be. Up-to-the-minute traffic updates on the radio can help us adapt to unexpected delays and find a quicker route home. This is a good thing.

But there are huge gaps in access to real-time information. There are other factors that impact our day-to-day lives hugely, but are hardly reported at all. Think about environmental factors like air quality and water levels, real-time crime data, and renewable energy production.

This isn’t just speculation. The real-time information for these measures exists, mostly on government websites. The challenge is to liberate it and make it accessible to the average citizen.

So that’s what I’ve begun to do, starting with my home province of Ontario.

I’ve developed a website (www.realworldindex.org) that shows, at a glance, how our society is doing right now in areas such as electricity generation, air quality, and crime. (I’m talking about actual measurements of criminal activity, not just lopsided reporting of the most sensational cases.)

The website tracks hourly and daily statistics, and keeps a record of the data so you can go back and look at trends.

My goal is to combine these indicators of social well-being into an index — a Real World Index that can be reported alongside traffic and weather updates. 

Thanks for sharing, Sam, and for hosting with us.

Need hosting with great support? Check out A Small Orange’s SharedResellerBusiness, or Dedicated hosting plans! 

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