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Announcing BLDS 1.0

Announcing BLDS 1.0
In May, I described a months-long process that was focused on the development of a new building permit data standard called the Building and Land Development Specification (BLDS, pronounced “builds”). When we discussed our work in helping to develop this standard, we made specific note of the importance of building permit data: “A shared standard for building permit data that can be adopted by multiple governments will help foster the development of new solutions that can be shared between jurisdictions. It will allow for analysis across jurisdictions, helping to highlight what works well and what doesn't. And, most importantly, it can help foster a better understanding of the permit process — which can have a direct impact on the neighborhoods we live in — by ensuring a common vocabulary for important events and activities.” Last week, we announced the  release of BLDS version 1.0 , which means that the standard...
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Last Call: Why It’s “Prime Time” for Alcoholic Beverage Control Regulation

Last Call: Why It’s “Prime Time” for Alcoholic Beverage Control Regulation
Nearly 100 years post-Prohibition, alcohol control remains a highly complex topic. This is due in large part to inconsistencies surrounding alcohol licensing, permitting and citizen confusion about the rules and regulations of when and where alcoholic beverages can be purchased and consumed. State by state, differences abound for citizens’ ability to buy alcohol in grocery stores vs. liquor stores, and on Sunday vs. any day. Questions linger even within restaurants and bars: What time constitutes "last call," and is it consistent across county and state lines? Business owners face a slightly different challenge: a lengthy and complex application process for liquor licenses and permits that can require months of waiting to receive an approval, or worse, a denial. In a previous life, I was the State Licensing Director for the State of Connecticut. I’ve seen the thick paper files of alcohol permit applications, reference checks and background information required for...
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Civic Innovation in the Triangle

Civic Innovation in the Triangle
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This past weekend, a CityCamp unconference and hackathon were held in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. Long known as a home for technology innovators, the area has hosted a CityCamp event for the last five years, and the event is now marketed statewide. I had the privilege to present as a keynote speaker at this year's event and to attend the weekend hackathon. CityCamp NC is an "unconference," where attendees collaboratively decide on the agenda for the event in a brainstorming session that takes place shortly after the event begins. CityCamp NC was also complemented by some planned sessions run by APPCityLife (an Accela Development partner) and Girl Develop It . A full house at Girl Develop It RDU's training session at CityCamp NC. In addition, a panel discussion kicked off the event where innovative uses of geospatial data by municipal governments in the state were showcased. Accela...
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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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Time to Engage! Registration Now Open for Accela Engage 2015

Time to Engage! Registration Now Open for Accela Engage 2015
Good news — registration is now open for Accela Engage 2015. A can’t-miss event, Accela Engage will be held at L.A. Live in Los Angeles, California, from August 24-28. Need more good news? Early bird pricing will be offered through June 5. The early bird conference rate is $999 and the regular conference rate is $1,299. And if you buy five passes, the sixth is free. This is a great opportunity to expand your entire team’s knowledge and performance while saving money. To learn more, visit accelaengage.com . Why attend? Accela Engage is an industry-leading conference where government agencies meet partners, developers and staff for a week filled with training, networking and fun. Attendees will: Gain insight into future trends from industry thought leaders. Gain knowledge about the latest solutions, best practices and future developments. Network with industry peers and thought leaders. The conference will feature visionary keynotes, thought-provoking sessions and...
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Honoring our Civic Heroes: Public Service Recognition Week

Honoring our Civic Heroes: Public Service Recognition Week
Today marks the first day of Public Service Recognition Week. Celebrated since 1985, the week honors the public servants across the nation whose hard work and dedication keeps our government agencies and communities thriving. Accela supports more than 2,000 government agencies around the world, and we'd like to thank all of the agency employees who support the towns, cities, counties and states we serve—YOU are our civic heroes and we're honored to support you! Want to know more about our Civic Heroes? Check out the Customers page for some great stories from the agencies we support. This week, we'll be tweeting about some of our amazing government agency heroes using the hashtag #PSRW, and encourage you to share your stories here and on Twitter of how public servants are working to connect citizens and governments.
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