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Mark Headd is a Technical Evangelist for Accela, where he plays a key role in shaping the company’s fast-growing developer program and platform vision. He is a writer, speaker and thought leader on communication technologies and open government. Self-taught in programming, he has been developing web, telephone, speech recognition and messaging applications for over 10 years. Most recently, the Nutter Administration selected him to become the City of Philadelphia’s first Chief Data Officer to lead the Mayor’s open data and government transparency initiatives.


Mr. Headd has worked for technology companies from the Delaware Valley to Silicon Valley and served as Director of Government Relations at Code for America. He has built open government software applications for the District of Columbia, the Sunlight Foundation, the New York State Senate and the cities of New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Baltimore and Philadelphia. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

Developing a Data Standard for Building Permits

Developing a Data Standard for Building Permits
At Accela, we understand the power of permit data . For the past several months, Accela has been working with a broad consortium of stakeholders to develop a data standard for building permits issued by cities and counties. We're helping a growing number of our customers publish their data in this format and we've been hard at work building a prototype application based on this new data standard. Now we want you to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty using this data — we want to hear what people think of the data we're currently publishing, and what they'd like to see in a new building permit data standard. You can find sample data from a growing number of government agencies in the new Building and Land Development Standard (BLDS - pronounced "builds") here , and sample apps that use this data here and here . Why...
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Announcing the Accela Connect Hackathon Winners!

Announcing the Accela Connect Hackathon Winners!

The Accela Connect Conference - held from March 1st through 4th at the Squaw Valley Resort in Olympic Valley, California - brought together Accela staff, partners and developers for four great days of networking, training and discussions. And, of course, we found some time to do some civic hacking.

We kicked off our annual partner conference with a one-day hackathon! Civic technologists, developers and Accela staff worked together to build new solutions using government open data hosted on CivicData. Almost 30 developers signed up to participate in the event.

By the end of the day, we received nine inspiring submissions, including: data visualizations and analytics, custom CivicData agencies, a restaurant score alert system and a 3D building inspection app. These solutions were developed using open data from Alameda, California; Evanston, Illinois; Newark, New Jersey; and Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Hacking for Civic Good at CodeAcross 2015

Hacking for Civic Good at CodeAcross 2015

Code for America is holding its fourth annual CodeAcross event this month in the U.S. and around the world. On February 20 & 22 join government agencies, developers, community organizers and others for a weekend of civic hacking and open data innovation.

This weekend coincides with International Open Data Day as well as the last weekend of the Code for America Fellows’ residencies in their partner cities.The CodeAcross events bring together passionate groups of people and provides an opportunity for them to get involved in their communities.

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Help Showcase the Power of Open Data at the Accela Connect Hackathon

Help Showcase the Power of Open Data at the Accela Connect Hackathon

Accela Connect is a four-day event in early March that will bring together developers, business partners, customers and Accela staff to discuss ways that we can strengthen the civic technology ecosystem and create new links between governments and those that they serve.

You can read more about this event in a previous post on the Accela blog by Ken Sawtelle, Director of the Accela Center of Excellence. As part of the event, we’re holding an open data hackathon.

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Discussing the Real Value of Open Data with State, City and County Leaders and the Sunlight Foundation

Discussing the Real Value of Open Data with State, City and County Leaders and the Sunlight Foundation
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On September 29th I had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion at the NASCIO annual conference on the value of open data. Entitled “Open Data: Is the Value Real?,” the panel also included: Dale Hartman, IT Service Delivery Manager, King County Elections Washington Carolyn Parnell, Chief Information Officer, State of Minnesota Barbara L. Cohn, Chief Data Officer, New York Office of Information Technology Services Emily Shaw, National Policy Manager, Sunlight Foundation During our talk, we had a chance to dive in deep on the real value of open data for governments. One of the most encouraging takeaways for me was that the vast majority of attendees at this year’s NASCIO annual conference understood what open data was, and were convinced that it would improve government efficiency and provide value to the people governments serve. I thought the panel—led by Alan Shark, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of...
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Guest Blog on PBS MediaShift: Open Data Beyond the Big City

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The below is an excerpt of my guest blog on PBS MediaShift. You can r ead the full post here . Big cities, like San Francisco, are more likely to have adopted open data than smaller cities. This is a problem, says Headd. Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license . “The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed.” –William Gibson. The Economist, December 4, 2003 The last time I heard Tim O’Reilly speak was at the Accela Engage conference in San Diego earlier this year. In his remarks, Tim used the above quote from William Gibson — it struck me as a pretty accurate way to describe the current state of open data in this country. Open data is the future — of how we govern, of how public services are delivered, of how governments engage with those that they...
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