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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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CA Fwd’s Summit on Data: Creating Sustainable Open Data Programs

CA Fwd’s Summit on Data: Creating Sustainable Open Data Programs
On March 18th I attended CA Fwd’s annual Summit on Data. Speakers touched on many themes related to the sustainability of open data programs, with a focus on how open data can create value for governments, the private sector and citizens. Making open data programs within government agencies sustainable has been a recurring theme that I have come across in my research on open data. One point that Michael Chui, a partner from the McKinsey Global Institute, brought up was that opening data is not an end in itself. Rather, people need usable applications to contextualize the data and make it actionable. Referencing the McKinsey Global Institute’s study , which claims open data can unlock $3 trillion dollars of value or more in the economy, Chui asserted that one way open data can create value is by enabling governments and private sector companies to benchmark themselves off others. Another trend...
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Bringing a New Era of Citizen Engagement to the Big Apple

Bringing a New Era of Citizen Engagement to the Big Apple
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New York is a hub for civic technology and open government initiatives. With one of the most detailed open data policies and the newly launched Civic Hall center for civic innovators, the City is on the forefront of true civic engagement – applying technology to better serve citizens. This past Wednesday we held a gathering for civic-minded developers, government officials, influencers and media at the historic Fraunces Tavern in New York to celebrate the civic technology boom in the city. The Tavern boasts a rich history as the setting for George Washington’s famed farewell to his officers in 1783. It served as the perfect backdrop to talk about changes in government and how open data and automated services can improve relationships between agencies and the citizens they serve every day. We kicked off the event with comments from New York City Council Member Ben Kallos on the critical role of...
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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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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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Using Social Media for an Open Government: 7 Tips to Get You Started

Using Social Media for an Open Government: 7 Tips to Get You Started

Social media can be a powerful tool for the government to listen to their citizens and for citizens to interact with their local government. It is a force to help build relationships, drive engagement and enhance agency reputations.

Government agencies are using social media more and more to interact with citizens and local businesses in their community.

Here are 7 tips to help get your agency started on social media:

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