Skip to main content

Core models and views for OpenBlock (hyperlocal news for Django)

Project description


A Django application that provides hyperlocal news.

This package is part of OpenBlock. Originally developed for

For more information, see the documentation or the project website.

Problems can be reported to the issue tracker.

Discussion is on the ebcode google group or the #openblock channel on freenode.

Licensed under the GNU General Public License version 3, except where otherwise noted.


Do not just try to easy_install or pip install ebpub. It has a lot of specific dependencies which can’t/shouldn’t be captured by

Instead, see the full documentation at which includes links to pip requirements files and instructions on preparing your system.


OpenBlock is a web application that allows users to browse and search their local area for “hyper-local news” - to see what’s going on recently in the immediate geographic area.

For installation instructions and other documentation, see (or the .rst files in the docs/ directory).

For help, you can try the ebcode group: or look for us in the #openblock IRC channel on

About the Project

OpenBlock began life as the open-source code released by in June 2009. Originally created by Adrian Holovaty and the Everyblock team, it is now developed as an open-source (GPL) project by at

Funding for the initial creation of Everyblock and the ongoing development of OpenBlock has been provided by the Knight Foundation (

OpenBlock 1.1.0 (October 20, 2011)

Upgrade Notes

  • Due to an oversight, both obdemo and the generated custom applications prior to this release didn’t include the TIME_ZONE setting. Please set settings.TIME_ZONE to an appropriate value.

  • As usual, install all dependencies, eg if you are upgrading a source checkout:

    pip install -r ebpub/requirements.txt
    pip install -e ebpub
    pip install -r ebdata/requirements.txt
    pip install -e ebdata
    pip install -r obadmin/requirements.txt
    pip install -e obadmin
    pip install -r obdemo/requirements.txt
    pip install -e obdemo
  • As usual, sync and migrate the database: syncdb migrate

Backward Incompatibilities

  • updaterdaemon is now deprecated. It has not been removed, but we no longer recommend or support its use. Use cron or your favorite cron alternative instead for running scrapers regularly. See the “Running Scrapers” docs. This allows us to close a bunch of tickets (#194, #51, #87, #180, #199, #222).
  • removed redundant get_metro_bbox function.
  • remove unused template tags: SHORT_NAME, STATE_ABBREV, EB_SUBDOMAIN.

New Features in 1.1

  • Big shareable maps: “Explore these items on a larger map” link on all type-specific news lists. For example,,financial-district/ links to which is shareable via permalink. (There is also undocumented support for embedding these via iframes.)
  • Comments on NewsItems. Requires logging in, and the Schema must have allow_comments=True and has_detail=True. Needs docs.
  • User-contributed “Neighbor Messages” and “Neighbor Events” news types, in the ebpub.neighbornews package. Needs docs.
  • Better support for running in a multi-city area:
    • new get_city_locations() function to get a list of all Locations whose LocationType matches the ‘city_location_type’ from settings.METRO_LIST.
    • --fix-cities option to block import scripts (and admin UI) that allows fixing imported blocks so matches an existing overlapping city-ish Location.
    • clean out intersections and streets on import, so they’re regenerated safely. Optionally skip regeneration.
    • some related URL bugfixes.
  • Import Places from a CSV file via the admin UI. Needs docs.
  • Date and time picker widgets on forms, where relevant. (#186)
  • Block import supports filtering by your default metro extent, not just city name. #160
  • Support for future events, not just recent news. Several scrapers support this: the ma/boston/events scraper, and the general/meetups/ scraper, and the neighbornews package. See docs in docs/packages/ebdata.rst. (Ticket #246)
  • Added a scraper for, in ebdata/scrapers/general/meetups. It’s zero-configuration: it just loops over your zip codes and finds all meetups for those. It’s at ebdata/scrapers/general/meetup/ and the associated schema can be loaded like so: loaddata ebdata/scrapers/general/meetup/meetup_schema.json You’ll need to set MEETUP_API_KEY in (Ticket #208)
  • Add a –reset option to update_aggregates script, deletes all aggregates and starts over. (ticket #221)
  • Add an ebpub/bin/ script, useful during schema development: wipes all newsitems and attributes and lookups of a given schema.
  • Also add –quiet, –verbose, –dry-run, and –help command-line options to update_aggregates.
  • Email alerts can now be sent via a command-line script. (related to ticket #65). Includes docs for how to set it up with cron.
  • Email alert signup can be disabled by removing ‘ebpub.alerts’ from settings.INSTALLED_APPS. (refs ticket #65).
  • obdemo includes flickr and meetup in default news types.
  • Flickr scraper (ticket #26). It’s at ebdata/scrapers/general/flickr/ and the associated schema can be loaded like so: loaddata ebdata/scrapers/general/flickr/photos_schema.json You’ll need to set FLICKR_API_KEY and FLICKR_API_SECRET in
  • Import locations from shapefiles in the admin UI (ticket #59). With documentation (ticket #234).
  • Import blocks from shapefiles in the admin UI. Also populates streets, blockintersections, and intersections. (ticket #215)
  • You can now set the default location type via settings.DEFAULT_LOCTYPE_SLUG. (#148)
  • Add –verbose and –quiet options to a bunch of command-line scripts and scrapers.
  • Don’t email scraper errors by default. That’s just not nice, and cron already does that.
  • All provided scrapers now log to settings.SCRAPER_LOGFILE_NAME.
  • Custom apps generated via paster create -t openblock now include a wsgi file for use with mod_wsgi, an alternative settings file for use with django-admin process_tasks, a skeleton cron config, executable and files. Also, is now better at automatically finding and activating the virtualenv.
  • obdemo also includes an example cron config file, a file, and the alt. settings file. And no longer has an example updaterdaemon config.
  • Our Amazon EC2 AMI will now use cron rather than updaterdaemon. Lots of other fixes in the EC2 scripts too.

Bugs fixed

  • Fixed broken map on feeds page, ticket #237.
  • Added missing links to the password change form.
  • CSRF protection everywhere, ticket #185. (As a side-effect we are now using JQuery 1.5.2.)
  • Block import: generated names now sort numerically correctly (eg. “12-100 Main St” rather than “100-12 Main St”)
  • Block import: Don’t try to guess right_from, right_to if not provided; that typically means there really is nothing on that side of the street.
  • Boston demo: restaurant inspections scraper fixed to accomodate markup changes.
  • De-hardcoded “neighborhoods” from various URLs. (#148)
  • Zip code import UI has no default state (to avoid selecting Alabama by mistake).
  • Zip code import now sets creation date (#233)
  • Removed confusing NewsItem “About” page. (#228)
  • Removed map from NewsItem list in admin UI, was too slow. (#219)
  • SavedPlace now enforces that it has either a Block or a Location but not both. (#213)
  • Items shown on map on schema filter page now use same filters as the items on the page. (#121)
  • Support 2010 US Census tiger files (ticket #147). Use them for the Boston demo.
  • Georeport / open311 scraper: support unofficial ‘page’ parameter (ticket #245); also, use the ‘address’ field for location_name if provided.
  • Seeclickfix scraper: allow city & state params, don’t hardcode to boston; ticket #243.
  • place_detail_overview wasn’t actually filtering by place.
  • ajax date charts would blow up if no results found.
  • Fix ticket #77: Now filtering news by item_date instead of pub_date since that’s the date that’s shown and used for aggregates.
  • Fix “show/hide” buttons on place detail page and account page. (tickets #204, #115, 236)
  • Fixed bug that caused many “Unknown” locations in location charts. (ticket #192). And removed “unknowns” entirely from the chart.
  • Locations weren’t capitalized on some pages. (ticket #202)
  • Several bounds-related errors in Location import fixed (thanks to Bret Walker).
  • Scrapers that create timezone-aware datetimes no longer blow up.
  • GeoReport scraper: scrape a reasonable amount of days, not 60 every darn time. And do pagination (ticket #245)
  • Georss scraper: Had the forwards / backwards coordinate test reversed :-
  • Georss scraper: Skip items with no location_name.
  • Fix some migration ordering bugs.
  • parse_date no longer blows up if you feed it a date or datetime instance.
  • CSS fixes for ajax date charts on location overview page.


  • Lots more docs about loading geographic data.
  • Document email configuration. (ticket #205)
  • Document what you get when doing paster create -t openblock.
  • More docs about running on Amazon EC2.
  • Describe differences from Everyblock
  • More help_text added to several Model fields, so admin UI is slightly more self-documenting.
  • Many many minor updates and tweaks.


  • Upgraded to OpenLayers 2.11. (ticket #250)
  • Upgraded to Django 1.3.1.
  • Upgraded to JQuery 1.5.2.
  • Removed some unused template tags (SHORT_NAME, STATE_ABBREV, EB_SUBDOMAIN).
  • Removed old version of map popups code.

Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Files for ebpub, version 1.1.0
Filename, size File type Python version Upload date Hashes
Filename, size ebpub-1.1.0.tar.gz (950.8 kB) File type Source Python version None Upload date Hashes View

Supported by

AWS AWS Cloud computing Datadog Datadog Monitoring DigiCert DigiCert EV certificate Facebook / Instagram Facebook / Instagram PSF Sponsor Fastly Fastly CDN Google Google Object Storage and Download Analytics Microsoft Microsoft PSF Sponsor Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Salesforce Salesforce PSF Sponsor Sentry Sentry Error logging StatusPage StatusPage Status page