DATA PROJECTS

Below you’ll find a bunch of data projects that align with the goal of PYGHACK, this is a preview of this weekend’s hackathon. Please feel free to explore these as potential hack projects, but this is not an exhaustive list by any means.

 

Bridge Deterioration Model

Overview:

The United States has 614,387 bridges (also referred to as structures). Almost four in ten of our bridges are 50 years or older. The average age of our bridges keeps going up and many of our bridges are approaching the end of their design life. In Illinois we have 26,775 bridges of which 4,527 are in poor condition. In Champaign County we have 723 bridges of which 61 are in poor condition.

Problem Statement:

IDOT has been inspecting bridge elements (e.g. steel column or pile extensions; unpainted steel floor beams) since 1995. Bridge elements are described in IDOT’s Bridge Element Inspection Manual. Historical inspection data for each bridge element for each bridge is stored in SQL tables in an Access Database.

IDOT needs to develop deterioration curves based on this historical data. IDOT needs four deterioration curves developed for each bridge element by environment as follows:

Benign: Neither environmental factors nor operating practices are likely to significantly change the condition of the element over time or their effects have been mitigated by the presence of highly effective protective systems.

Low: Environmental factors and/or operating practices either do not adversely influence the condition of the element or their effects are substantially lessened by the application of effective protective systems.

Moderate: Any change in the condition of the element is likely to be quite normal as measured against those environmental factors and/or operating practices that are considered typical by the agency.

Severe: Environmental factors and/or operating practices contribute to the rapid decline in the condition of the element. Protective systems are not in place or are ineffective.

For example, how fast will steel column or pile extensions (Bridge Element #8409) deteriorate in a benign, low, moderate and severe environment? How fast will unpainted steel floor beams (Bridge Element #8151) deteriorate in a benign, low, moderate and severe environment?


Detect Leaks in the Urbana & Champaign Sewage Collection System

Overview:

The mission of the Urbana & Champaign Sanitary District (UCSD) is to protect public health and safety, preserve the public trust, and protect the natural environment. UCSD is a municipal body which provides wastewater treatment for properties in the Cities of Urbana and Champaign, the Villages of Bondville and Savoy, the University of Illinois and the surrounding adjacent developed areas. UCSD operates two wastewater treatment plants. The Northeast plant is located in Urbana immediately north of Ambucs Park. The Southwest plant is located in Champaign at the intersection of Windsor and Rising Roads. UCSD also operates large diameter sanitary interceptor sewers and 28 pumping stations that transport wastewater to the treatment plants. Champaign, Urbana, Savoy and the University of Illinois operate their respective collector sewers to which homes and businesses are connected.

Problem Statement:

Inflow and infiltration (referred to as I&I) is when groundwater and stormwater enter the sanitary sewer through leaks in the piping and connections. When groundwater and stormwater enter the sewage collection system as I&I, it must be sent to the wastewater treatment plant along with the actual wastewater generated within the community. Due to I&I, wastewater treatment plants end up treating much higher volumes of wastewater than they otherwise would, leading to higher energy consumption and costs. During a particularly large storm, the increased flow reaching a treatment plant due to I&I may even exceed the treatment plant’s capacity. Under such circumstances, untreated wastewater may be discharged into the environment. By detecting and fixing leaks in the sewage collection system, one can eliminate the energy consumed in pumping and treating groundwater and stormwater that enters the sewage collection system, and that otherwise do not require treatment. Furthermore, if I&I were significantly reduced, wastewater treatment plants could plan to use more of their treatment capacity for treating wastewater, rather than a combination of wastewater and I&I, and thus service greater populations with existing treatment infrastructure. However, identification of leaks in underground piping is difficult and costly using currently available technologies. For this problem we encourage teams to develop innovative ways to identify areas of potential I&I in the UCSD sewage collection system, using historical plant flow data, lift station flow data, and precipitation data.For this challenge we will focus on the UCSD NE plant, and assume that similar techniques would work for the UCSD SW plant (where similar data is available). In addition to historical flow data, we have provided basin maps to understand the flow of lift stations into other lift stations, and ultimately into the NE plant. The goal of this challenge will be to identify the specific lift stations where the most I&I is entering during a rainstorm event. The results of this challenge which will help guide where money should be spent for collection system repair.


CU-MTD

Overview:

MTD helps our communities thrive by offering individuals, organizations, and municipalities what they need to get to what matters. Whether it’s getting you across town to work or doing our part in to change mobility in our region, expand Champaign’s downtown, or strengthen the connections between the University of Illinois and surrounding communities for good, MTD is a reliable partner and we’re here when you need us.

Problem Statement:

During the school year, bus traffic at stops around campuses fluctuates dramatically depending on the time of day. There are periods of ‘near-empty’ buses and periods of ‘sorry you cannot get on’ traffic. This project aims to identify the time and locations where bus demand is high based on location of academic buildings and class schedule. The insights may help CU-MTD to adjust bus schedule accordingly and improve the riding experience for passengers at on-campus stops.


Urbana Trees and Green Infrastructure

Overview:

The City of Urbana Stormwater Utility collects fees from commercial and residential properties to fund maintenance and improvement of the City’s stormwater management system. This system includes pipes, retention ponds, swales, ditches, etc. The Utility also provides incentives for private properties to detain, retain, infiltrate, or reuse stormwater onsite. The stormwater management system keeps stormwater from flooding properties and causing damage. Additionally, the City of Urbana Arbor Division maintains all the trees located between the sidewalk and the curb in the City. The Arbor Division plants, trims, and removes trees as necessary to cultivate an urban forest to provide provide beauty and shade.

Problem Statement:

How can we use tree location data, flood complaint data, and census data to achieve better urban forest outcomes and better stormwater outcomes? Are there trends in our street tree distribution and/or vacant tree sites? How does the current or recently planted distribution of trees relate to Census data categories? How does the distribution of flood complaints relate to Census data? How does our urban forest relate to flooding complaints in a larger green infrastructure system.


Urbana Fleet Fuel Management

Overview:

The City of Urbana Fleet Division manages credit cards used exclusively for fueling City-owned vehicles. The credit card transactions collect data regarding the fuel station, amount of fuel, vehicle ID, vehicle mileage, etc.

Problem Statement:

Are there trends that suggest that certain gas stations are more or less expensive? Are there trends about fueling behaviors?


Reducing Sign Clutter in Champaign and Urbana

Overview:

The Urbana Public Works Department promotes growth in the City of Urbana by maintaining, constructing and improving the City's infrastructure. We preserve the quality of life for the citizens, visitors, businesses and government agencies (both within the City and in the surrounding areas). Our department strives to provide prompt and courteous service in a professional, efficient and cost-effective manner to safeguard the safety, health and welfare of those we serve.

Problem Statement:

Signs are an important part of communicating to drivers and pedestrians about the restrictions for parking, driving, and walking around the community. However, having too many signs in a location can be confusing and cause issues such as illegal parking or traffic accidents. This project aims to identify locales where there are too many signs in a single location that could cause issues. Additionally, sign data can be correlated with traffic incident and parking violation data to further validate issues.


Insights into the UIUC student population

Overview:

The University of Illinois has a very diverse student body. It welcomes students from all over the world and from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. The goal of this project is to provide some meaningful insights into different aspects of the University's student population (e.g., enrollment, graduation rates, financial aid, etc.).

Problem Statement:

Use the information in the provided sources (and/or any other external sources if you would like) to provide meaningful insights into the UIUC student population. Some ideas include predicting future class enrollment based on historical trends (to properly allocate resources), the diversity of the student body in the years to come, who is most likely to need financial aid, who is most likely to drop out and potential reasons why, or even a data visualization showing changes in student demographics over the years. The project is very open as long as you provide some insights related to the University.


Champaign County Police Use Cases

Overview:

These three police agencies in Champaign County share a common Records Management System (called “ARMS”) that contains information on police activity. Due to their use of a common system, the data has a consistent format - although some code values are unique to each jurisdiction for local ordinances.

Problem Statement:

Police records are commonly requested sets of data for analysis of both crime and police interactions with the public. Police data can be useful for analysis on its own, or combined with other data about the population to gain insights. For example, the United States Census Bureau has datasets by County and some by “Census block” https://www.census.gov/topics/population/data.html. These police agencies are looking for creative uses of the data that could lead them into further analysis using more granular datasets.