Sunday, October 17, 2010

Let me build you a fortress you can decorate.

Well, It looks like I'll spend my fall break traveling.

I had two things I really wanted to do over my break: go see The Tempered Machine in concert again and go to the mountains with my family and do nothing but relax and sleep.

I'll be going back to Washington to get the crime reports for the week.

In order to create our product, we're putting crimes reports online into a database. In order to do that, we need to put essential information into a database. I'm really hoping the crime reports are put in electronically. Otherwise I don't know how we could keep information up to date without requiring more reporting resources than the data would be worth.

I'm hoping to see the police enter the information on a computer, not a typewriter or otherwise. I feel like a crime database that journalists put together could be just as helpful for the police as the newspaper.

But to keep it up to date, if there's not a way to do it electronically, would be exhausting. To do so, a journalist would have to go to the Washington police station every, buy copies of each and every police report (which would get expensive after a while, at the the cost of likely $.10 a page) then by hand enter every single relevant field (incident, month, date, year, victim, victim's age, OCA, just to name a few) would be a cost far greater than the benefit.

I'm driving all the way down there (by myself. Lots of quality time with my music.), so I'm trying to think of things to do while in the area.

I'm going to place calls tomorrow and I'm hoping to set up a meeting with the police chief. Hopefully we'll both have the same goal — to inform the public. If we share this goal, my job will be much easier. I'm also planning to meet up with a Couchsurfer host or two, since they're open to meeting people, talking, and hopefully getting me a better idea of some interesting edge users and how they get their information.

There are three couchsurfers that I've found so far, I've got a variety. I hope at least one of them will be able to talk to me. Two women in their fifties, one man in his twenties, all in Washington, and I'm sure all with different stories.

What I was told last time I was there was, from a Washington, D.C., native, was that "Washington's a tough little town."

I hope some of these are Washingtonians originally. I'm very interested if all feel this way.

Any ideas on who else to talk to while down there?

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