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App will help parents, kids map routes to new schools

Also: Yahoo makes teen a millionaire, Onion ridicules Syria’s president and an NFL player may come out.

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‘ATTENDING A NEW SCHOOL COULD BE A DANGEROUS PROSPECT.’ As Chicago prepares for its largest-ever round of school closings, Tom Kompare, a member of Chicago’s vibrant Open Government Chicago programming movement, has created a new Web application called “Go to School!” -- to help families across Chicago gauge “their travel options.” That includes, as he explains in an email to the group, “locations of police stations, fire stations, and hospitals.”

He says it started out as a selfish exercise: “I sometimes get to work from home and get to pick up my daughter after school. I need to hop on the L do so, and was wondering when I had to leave in order to get there on time.”

The app’s up and running now, with maps showing which schools are closing or relocating. By this fall, he expects to add so-called “safe haven” businesses and crossing guard locations. It works on smartphones or desktop browsers. Check it out at

Meanwhile, Kompare is making the source code available here to anyone who wants to adapt it for use by other school districts.

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