OpenBlock Feature List

Presentation of hyperlocal news

  • News items database: each item has a date, location, and flexible metadata
  • Templates for custom page layouts
  • Serve hyperlocal news for multiple municipalities
  • Browse news items by neighborhood, timeline, or type.

Put news on the map

  • Geocode news items
  • Present news by zipcode
  • Present news by street and block
  • Present news by neighborhood, or any other geography you choose
  • Draw your own neighborhoods
  • See news items clustered on a map
  • Custom map icons for different news types
  • Choose base map layers, including Google, Yahoo, CloudMade and others

For users

  • Email alerts
  • Custom RSS feeds

Getting data into OpenBlock

  • REST API allows creating news via POST
  • ... or write Python scraper scripts
  • "Blob" scraper framework for PDFs, Excel files, etc
  • Scraper daemon to run scrapers
  • Flickr scraper (under development)
  • Trulia scraper (under development)
  • User-submitted content (under development)

Using OpenBlock to power an existing website

  • REST API, including spatial filters
  • Widgets, customizable
  • Widget maps (under development)


  • Built on Django
  • uses South for database migrations
  • Clone an Amazon EC2 AMI to get up-and-running in minutes (experimental)
  • ... or install on hardware of your choice
  • Amazing docs
  • Safe upgrade