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MIT: City Digits

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NiJeL worked with MIT's Civic Data Design Lab and CUNY's Brooklyn College to develop the Cash City module for the ground-breaking City Digits project. Supported by the National Science Foundation, City Digits is a project to develop and pilot integrated curriculum resources and web-tools that support high school students' learning of mathematics. Cash City, City Digits' second module is focused on pawn shops and alternative financial institutions and was pilot tested in two rounds in 2014. City Digits brings data into the classroom is by using mapping as a language to communicate a complicated issue. Students can explore familiar areas on a map, at various levels of scale, in terms of socioeconomic and other measures, toward the development of a data-informed understanding of the topic and its significance. For that reason, a mapping API is at the center of the City Digits tools. On top of this are a host of image, audio file, and text media-upload features that allow students to augment data presented to them with their own observations.

Our Mission, Vision and Values


At NiJeL, we support strong, positive advances in the sustainability of people's lives and our planet through knowledge and information. At the local level, we work to improve our partner's communities and constituencies through data and technology, and we aim to democratize the tools and data needed to to make better social and environmental decisions. We're also always working to bridge the “data divide” and provide everyone the ability to tell their stories and visualize their impacts for advocacy and representation.

We achieve this vision by developing custom systems for data visualization, analysis, and participation for our partners, and teaching our partners to harness their data through "data therapy" to document their program impacts, build strong advocacy tools, and connect with their key audiences. It's also critically important to us that we build strong personal relationships with our partners to develop a technology roadmap for them that aligns with their current workflow and mission.

At the heart of everything we do at NiJeL are our core values of:

  • Being considerate, cooperative, and conscientious in work with us, our team, and our partners,
  • Respect for others and their ways of working and using technology,
  • Curiosity to learn new ways of working and try new things,
  • Flexibility to change direction and technology when needed.
Contact Us

Contact Us

We accept all kinds of Hellos.

NiJeL partners with organizations aiming to improve the quality of life for communities around the world. We work with organizations and projects that span cultures from local to global in scale. Our partners include formal large or small NGOs, for-profit companies, government entities, international organizations like the United Nations, and self-organized community groups.

We love talking about data and mapping ideas. We are always looking for new partners and projects so please contact us. We have experience forging relationships with funders of data projects and we may be able to help you with grant-writing.

Email us at jd 'at' nijel.org, lprashad 'at' nijel.org, or nsjones 'at' nijel.org, tweet us @nijel_mapping, or follow us on Facebook. Thanks!