Adrian Holovaty

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Adrian Holovaty
Adrian Holovaty in 2009
Born1981 (age 41–42)
Alma materMissouri School of Journalism (B.A., 2001)
Occupation(s)web developer, journalist, entrepreneur
Known forDjango Web framework

Adrian Holovaty (born 1981) is an American web developer, journalist and entrepreneur from Chicago, Illinois, living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He is co-creator of the Django web framework and an advocate of "journalism via computer programming".

Life and career[edit]

Holovaty, a Ukrainian American, grew up in Naperville, Illinois and attended Naperville North High School. While serving as co-editor of the high school's newspaper, The North Star, a censored article about a faculty member sexually assaulting a student reignited an anti-censorship debate in the Illinois house of representatives.[1] He graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism in 2001 and worked as a web developer/journalist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Lawrence Journal-World and The Washington Post before starting EveryBlock, a web startup that provided "microlocal" news, in 2007.[2]

While working at the Lawrence Journal-World from 2002 to 2005, he and other web developers (Simon Willison, Jacob Kaplan-Moss and Wilson Miner[3]) created Django, an open source web application framework for Python. He and Kaplan-Moss served as the framework's Benevolent Dictators for Life until January 2014.[4] The pair wrote The Django Book, first published in 2007.

Holovaty is also a guitarist. In 1999, he recorded an album of his own guitar compositions,[5] and since 2007 he has posted videos of his acoustic guitar arrangements on YouTube, building an audience of more than 30,000 subscribers.[6] In 2012 he and PJ Macklin founded SoundSlice, a collaboratively edited website which shows YouTube music videos alongside simultaneous animated tablature, intended to help guitarists learn new musical pieces.[7]

Crime mapping innovations[edit]

In 2005, Holovaty launched, a Google Maps mashup of Chicago Police Department crime data.[8] The site won the 2005 Batten Award for Innovations in Journalism[9] and was named by The New York Times as one of 2005's best ideas.[10]

As one of the first Google Maps mashups, it helped influence Google to create its official Google Maps API.[11] Newspaper sites such as the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times have incorporated a map from EveryBlock, the successor to, into their web sites.[12]

In 2007, Holovaty was awarded a $1.1 million Knight Foundation grant and left his job as editor of editorial innovations at to start EveryBlock, the successor to[13] On August 17, 2009, EveryBlock was officially acquired by MSNBC.[14] The terms of the deal were not disclosed.[15] In February 2013, NBC News announced that it was shutting down EveryBlock.[16] The service was re-launched by Comcast NBCUniversal in January, 2014 and operated in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Fresno, Hialeah, Houston, Medford, Nashville, Philadelphia, and Seattle.[17] On July 19, 2018, EveryBlock was acquired by social networking service Nextdoor and shut down.[18]


  1. ^ "School Newspaper in Illinois Revives a Debate Over Censorship". The New York Times. 28 September 1997. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Goodbye hyperlocal, hello microlocal -". Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Django committers". Archived from the original on July 16, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2022.
  4. ^ "Adrian and Jacob retiring as Django BDFLs -". Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Music -". Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  6. ^ "Adrian Holovaty". YouTube. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  7. ^ "About Soundslice". SoundSlice LLC. November 2012.
  8. ^ "Announcing -". Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Batten winner! -". Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  10. ^ O'Connell, Pamela Licalzi (11 December 2005). "Do-It-Yourself Cartography". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  11. ^ "The world is your JavaScript-enabled oyster". Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  12. ^ Street Wise:
  13. ^ "Knight Foundation grant -". Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  14. ^ Nieman Journalism Lab. "EveryBlock". Encyclo: an encyclopedia of the future of news. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  15. ^ "MSN - Outlook, Office, Skype, Bing, Breaking News, and Latest Videos". NBC News. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  16. ^ "NBC News shuts down hyperlocal site EveryBlock". CNN. February 7, 2013. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
  17. ^ "EveryBlock: The Online Community for Your Neighborhood". Comcast. August 26, 2014. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  18. ^ "Nirav Tolia-led Nextdoor Acquires Chicago's 'EveryBlock' Neighborhood News Site". IndiaWest. August 5, 2018. Archived from the original on September 15, 2021. Retrieved March 23, 2020.

External links[edit]