Inciter | CRC Takes Detroit
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CRC Takes Detroit

By Sheila Matano

This past week, Taj and I visited Detroit to meet with Erica Raleigh at Data Driven Detroit (D3) and also took some time to explore the city.

Data Driven Detroit

D3 is a National Neighborhood Indicators Partner (NNIP) and an affiliate of the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA). Created in 2008, D3 houses a comprehensive data system that includes current and historic demographic, socioeconomic, educational, environmental, and other indicators. In addition to providing access to high-quality data, D3 also provides services such as data analysis and data visualization to organizations in Detroit.  For example, they created the One D Scorecard to show how Detroit compares to different regions across the United States. (See other examples of D3’s work.)

Pic 1


 D3 Building



 D3’s Mission



Founded in 2011, Shinola is a Detroit-based company that produces watches, bicycles, leather goods, and journals. And yes, the company got its name from the 1940s colloquial “You don’t know shit from Shinola”. Every Shinola product is made in the U.S., which is pretty great since no American watchmaker has produced watches at scale since the late 1960s! Currently, their factory has the capacity to produce 500,000 watches a year.






Sightseeing – Detroit Style

We had some time to drive around and check out some of Detroit’s tourist attractions and historic buildings. Matthew, our resident map guy, made us a handy interactive story map to use while on our trip.



Although we couldn’t get to all the sites because of limited time, thanks to Matthew’s map we were able to take an interesting self-guided tour around the city! (Full photo album is available on Facebook.)



The Michigan Central Depot where some scenes from Transformers were filmed.



The Detroit Industry Murals by Diego Rivera at the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum


The world’s largest Masonic Temple



 Fox Theater


Detroit, like Baltimore, has a lot more going for it than people might think. This summer, CRC plans on exploring whether negative perceptions of Baltimore City (such as those perpetuated even by media we love, like The Wire) are actually supported by data. And we’ll be using our own Baltimore DataMind to do it. Stay tuned! We’ll be sharing some information soon.


Taj Carson

Dr. Taj Carson is the CEO and Founder of Inciter. She has more than 20 years’ experience helping nonprofits manage their data. She has a Master’s degree in Information Visualization from the Maryland Institute College of Art, a certificate in technology entrepreneurship from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Delaware in 2000.

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