Google Maps used to show roof collapses, road closures

This winter’s repeated heavy snowfall led to roof collapses across Connecticut. Register Citizen Community Engagement Editor Kaitlyn Yeager and reporter Jenny Golfin teamed up to chart incidents of roof collapse across the entire state, utilizing our own reporting and that of other newspapers, TV stations, radio and hyperlocal websites and blogs.

The Google Map project was picked up as an embed on other JRC websites in Connecticut, including MiddletownPress.Com, and was mentioned and linked to by the New York Times and AOL.

When the snow started melting, Northwest Connecticut’s problem went from roof collapses to flooding, and Jenny Golfin used the learning experience of the roof collapse map. Working our morning shift, when she started hearing reports of road closures throughout the area, she automatically started building a Google map to display them for our readers, as well as alternate routes around them.

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About mattderienzo

Matt DeRienzo has worked for more than 20 years as a reporter, editor, publisher and corporate editorial director and has been recognized nationally for leading newsroom innovation. He teaches journalism at Quinnipiac University, writes a monthly column for Editor & Publisher magazine, and serves as interim executive director of LION Publishers, a national network of local independent online news site publishers. Previously, he served as group editor of Digital First Media's publications in Connecticut, including the New Haven Register, Middletown Press, Register Citizen and Connecticut Magazine, and Northeast regional editor for Digital First Media. He also served as publisher of The Register Citizen, Middletown Press and a group of weeklies in Northwest Connecticut, and before that was corporate director of news for small dailies and non-daily publications for the former Journal Register Company. In early 2011, The Register Citizen was named one of Editor & Publisher magazine's "10 Newspapers That Do It Right," and DeRienzo was named to its annual "25 Under 35" list of leaders in the newspaper industry. In the fall of 2011, The Register Citizen was awarded the Associated Press Managing Editors Innovator of the Year Award in recognition of The Register Citizen Newsroom Cafe, an "open newsroom" launched in Torrington, Connecticut, in December 2010. He led a team of more than 100 journalists in covering the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in late 2012 and 2013, and has been honored for his editorial writing and leadership of public service and investigative reporting. In 2014, his efforts at the New Haven Register were recognized with the APME's and ASNE's Robert C. McGruder Award for Leadership in Newsroom Diversity. DeRienzo is a former longtime board member of the United Way of Northwest Connecticut, and served as co-chairman of the United Way's annual fundraising campaign in 2009 and again in 2011. In 2011, he received the organization's Lifetime Achievement Award.
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