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Category Archives: data analytics

Guest Blog from Appallicious: The Case for Comprehensive Open Data Legislation

Yo Yoshida
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On October 17, 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake struck the San Francisco Bay Area, killing 63 people and injuring nearly 4,000 residents. The quake also caused an estimated $6 billion in damage and displaced over 12,000 people. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the earthquake, and though we don’t know for sure when the next “big one” will hit, we now have access to resources and tools to better prepare and recover from disasters like these. At the White House last week, Appallicious unveiled one of these new tools during a disaster technology event — the Disaster Assessment and Assistance Dashboard, or DAAD. This new online tool creates a “shareable economy” to aid in economic stability post-disaster…. Continue reading

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On Open Data, Platforms and Public/Private Partnerships

Jeff Stiles
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Mark Headd and I were asked by Professor Peter Robertson to share our perspectives at the upcoming Academy of Management Conference. Unfortunately, our Engage Conference precludes us from attending in person, so we filmed a brief video to send on our behalf. We had a chance to discuss the Accela Civic Platform and CivicData.com and to share our thoughts on: Challenges and opportunities agencies face when building open data How standardization is essential to fostering innovation The value of open data to agencies, developers and citizens How public/private partnerships foster innovation How a platform approach is essential for scale How civic engagement and collaborative governance improve communities These things are inextricably linked…. Continue reading

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Guest Blog from Buildingeye | Accela Engage 2014: Startup Pioneers of Open Data to Converge In San Diego

Matthew Gonzales
The Open Data movement is primed to fundamentally shift the paradigm on how citizens interact with their governments. This will be the primary focus for the upcoming gathering of government officials and tech startups: the Accela Engage 2014 conference in San Diego, CA from Aug 4-8. As of now, state and local governments have been utilizing antiquated data management technologies, which have historically made it difficult for the average citizen to access public information. However, this may not be the case for much longer. For example, San Francisco, CA, is one city that’s paving the way towards a more efficient, convenient, and open government via the city’s Entrepreneurship-In-Residence program…. Continue reading

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Top 7 Videos about Open Government Software and Technology

Scott Greenberg
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The Open Government movement is an effort towards making government information transparent and accessible in order to encourage civic participation and promote efficiency. A recent development of this concept is the theory of open source governance, which encourages the development of software to allow citizens to participate more directly in the legislative process. Check out the videos below to learn more about basic terms, key players and events. David Eaves: Open Government. Open Government activist David Eaves explains the basics of Open Government, Government 2.0 and open data. See also Open Data, Baseball and Government, explaining the importance of the availability of government data and how people can use this information to make improvements…. Continue reading

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Open Data: From Coast to Coast

Mark Headd
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The last few weeks have been big for open data and civic innovation. Awareness of the power of open data, the new ideas it can help foment and the new apps and services it can support are spreading from coast to coast. On May 15, I had the pleasure to take part in the Open Data NJ Summit at Montclair State University. The event brought together experts on open data from the Sunlight Foundation, the U.S. Open Data Institute and others to present to local government officials and the journalism community on the power and promise of open data. The event featured presentations from, among others,… Continue reading

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CivicData.com: Changing the Game on Open Data

Mark Headd
CivicData.com is Accela’s open data portal. The site represents a new approach, one that emphasizes the core mission at Accela—to build bridges designed to connect citizens and government agencies—and we believe that it will change the game on how governments publish open data. A New Direction for Open Data As the open data movement matures, an increasing number of federal, state and local governments are formalizing their commitment to releasing data for external users by adopting open data policies and implementing open data portals. As open data portals become more common, and as more and more data is released through these sites, two open data portals from across the vast expanse of the U.S…. Continue reading

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Open Data Delivering on Its Promise to Bring Governments and Citizens Together

Jeff Stiles
The open government movement is gaining critical momentum, and that shouldn’t be a surprise. Making the data the government collects publicly available has the power to transform everyday life by better informing our decisions, from what restaurant to eat at, to where to start your business, to what apartment to rent. Just last week we had great presence at events from Sacramento to Berkeley. There was an exciting group of experts lined up to speak at California FWD’s open data event—including Kris Trujillo, the lead architect of Accela’s free open data portal, CivicData.com. Kris talked about open data as the key to bridging the divide between government and citizens and the opportunity for developers and civic entrepreneurs to build businesses by creating useful apps for government…. Continue reading

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Guest Blog from Microsoft’s John Shewchuk: Accela and Microsoft Hackfest — Providing Access to Open Data, Online and Off-Grid

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By John Shewchuk, Technical Fellow and the CTO for the Microsoft Developer Platform A few weeks ago several of us from the U.S. and worldwide DPE teams holed up in Redmond for a few days of coding. Our goal was to prove that there is an easy way to take a Web App and port it over to a mobile experience, and then make it work in both connected and offline scenarios. Joining us for the hackfest was Accela, an ISV that provides solutions to help municipal, county and state governments streamline their licensing and permitting processes. Roughly seven months ago Accela launched an open data platform called civicdata.com,… Continue reading

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Guest Blog from Appallicious: Open Gov on the Move in 2014

Yo Yoshida
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Editor’s Note: Yo Yoshida is the CEO and co-founder of the San Francisco civic start-up, Appallicious. The beginning of 2014 has proved to be a busy one for both Appallicious, and the entire open data movement. To say a lot is going on would be an understatement. Next week, I’ll be participating in Accela’s annual Partner and Developer Conference to discuss how our company and other civic startups are improving communication between citizens, businesses and government agencies. Accela is one of the leading civic engagement platform providers — we are thrilled to have been invited up to Tahoe for the event. Last year it was announced that the California based company raised $40 million…. Continue reading

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Open Data Is Here: How Will You Bring Your Agency’s Data to Life?

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The office has been buzzing with excitement this week with the launch of CivicData.com. We’ve been hard at work to bring this to fruition. More importantly, everyone at Accela is excited about what this means for our customers. In recent months, the City of El Paso created a Garbage App with CityGovApp that increases driver productivity while enhancing citizen engagement—all from a smartphone. Civic hackers used Salt Lake City’s data to create a “Taco Cart” app, which helps citizens (and presumably inspectors) locate these mobile food establishments. We’re amazed by the sheer volume of civic-minded developers who are looking to build and deploy apps for government…. Continue reading

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