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Ideas to help you make the most of summer

June 8, 2018

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Digital Team

There’s some new content on Boston.gov that we think you might find useful, and even enjoy using, this season.

The Digital Team has been busy helping departments push out new content for residents. We try to write about some of our biggest projects. But, there’s a lot of helpful information we publish every day that we often miss the chance to talk about. We’re changing that, because our goal is to make sure you know about these resources.

Here are a few new pieces of content on Boston.gov that we want to highlight.

Public restrooms map

Ever have trouble finding a place to “go” when you’re on the go in Boston? Well, we have just the map for you.

As part of the City’s Age-friendly Boston initiative, we launched a new public restrooms map that helps you find locations across the City. This was a joint effort between the Elderly Commission, New Urban Mechanics, and the Digital and Analytics teams. After Elderly Commission staff tracked down the data over the course of a few months, our maps team stepped in to build an interactive, mobile-friendly map for Boston.gov.

With the map, you can filter by the day of the week and bathroom features, or search an address or landmark. But the coolest feature? If you allow it, the map can geolocate based on your current location in the City. By opting in, you can find the closest public restrooms in your immediate area.

This map is by no means a finished product. We’ll continue to iterate and build on our original concept based on the feedback we hear from the public. We also have a plan in place to make sure this information stays updated for the future. So please, let us know what you think.

Summer in Boston guide

Winter is finally behind us. To celebrate, we created a new Summer in Boston guide page to help you locate:

  • upcoming events at City Hall
  • community center pools and places to visit, and
  • heat safety tips and useful maps for navigating your way around Boston (like where to find a public restroom!).

This new guide page was a team effort. We could not have built the page without the help of Parks and Recreation, Tourism, and Boston Centers for Youth & Families. Each of these departments have plenty of activities during the summer, we just consolidated this information in one place.

Our summer page will be a living resource during the season. We’ll be adding a few more maps, and well as new events. Looking for information that’s geared more for tourists? We have our Visiting Boston guide.

Summer in Boston

Food truck schedule

We updated our food trucks schedule for the summer so you can track down your favorite whoopie pie mobile. We list every option out on the page, but we recommend using our map. Thanks to the excellent work of our maps team, you can filter by day of week, time of day, and food truck. As long as you opt in on your mobile device, you can even have the map find your current location and highlight trucks in the area.

The City doesn’t oversee the food trucks program for Boston Common and the Greenway. But, we went ahead and reached out to those programs to make sure they were included. If there’s a food truck in the City of Boston, you should be able to find it on our map. (If you can’t, please let us know!)

Budget website update

For the second year in a row, we made the City’s Fiscal Year Budget available online. Through this application, you can dive into the details of the budget. We have featured analysis, as well as information on the City’s capital and operating budgets.

What makes this update special, though, is how much the Budget Office was involved in the process. We had a dedicated developer and product manager on the project, but the Budget staff really stepped up to help edit their content. Their involvement allowed us to concentrate on fine tuning the technical details. Teamwork makes the dream work.

Other May highlights

Preservation Month

The Landmarks Commission held another successful Preservation Month. Every May, the commission encourages public awareness and appreciation of the City's historic resources. They feature events taking place across the City. Aside from helping with website updates, we’ve also designed (award-winning) posters, buttons, and more to celebrate the month.

Love Your Block cleanups

The City’s Love Your Block program had another round of successful neighborhood cleanups in May. We worked with their team on creating new applications as well as pages on Boston.gov promoting each event. Neighborhood cleanups unite neighbors and communities through physical service and engagement. Learn more about Love Your Block.

Community Preservation

We worked with the Community Preservation Program team to help them share information on their spring pilot. The program funds ready-to-go affordable housing, historic preservation, and parks and open space projects. Check out the Community Preservation page for more information on the program.