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

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. Earlier in the day, Kris was a panelist on an open data webinar organized by the Center for Digital Government...
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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 , and we set out to create an app that would let people consume a variety of open datasets — whether in the office, out in the field or off the grid. In a nutshell, our target scenario was to help real...
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Guest Blog from Town of Framingham, MA: HTML5 App Development with the Accela API

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***Editor's Note: Today’s post comes from Alan Holt, Manager of Data Services for the IT department in the Town of Framingham, Massachusetts.*** The other day I was asked by my director to take a survey about what motivates me to do my job well here in the Town of Framingham, Massachusetts. I was supposed to pick my top 3 motivators. Of course I started to check off MONEY, then paused and spent some time reflecting on what really does motivate me. When I handed in the survey, money did not even make the cut. I was surprised to realize my top choice was “Interesting Work.” I am the sole Accela support person and implementer at our site. This responsibility occupies about half of my time. I find it has so many capabilities that I find interesting, that I would gladly spend all my time working on Accela-related projects if I...
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fr
Thanks for such an insightful and detailed post
Monday, 14 December 2015 22:11
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Ride-along with the Fort Worth Stormwater Management Division’s Field Operations Work Crew

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While in Fort Worth, Texas, for the inaugural Accela Asset Management User Group (AAMUG) meeting last month, the Fort Worth Stormwater Management Division invited several Accela employees to participate in a ride-along with their Field Operations work crews. As an Accela Product Manager, I was looking forward to observing how a work crew uses Accela Mobile Office to document work performed in the field and create new work orders, as needed, without returning to the office. I was prepared to observe a totally automated and paperless process, leveraging technology as an alternative to common “old school” techniques. Part of the City’s Transportation and Public Works Department, the Stormwater Management Division implemented Accela Asset Management with Accela Mobile Office last year for work order management and to document infrastructure asset condition assessments. Among the Division’s primary objectives were to realize time savings and provide a better method of documenting work on...
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Finding Our True North: Bringing Customers, Partners and Developers Together at PDC 2014

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We just wrapped our ninth annual Partner and Developer Conference , and across the organization folks are pretty jazzed. We headed north to Tahoe, and while the weather was overcast and rainy for the bulk of the event, we all gained a lot of perspective from speakers and attendees alike on our collective purpose and potential to bridge the very disparate and disconnected worlds in which our government customers and their customers & citizens live and work We spent time with partners new and old, and the consistent feedback was positive. As we opened the General Session, I asked how many audience members (both partners and Accela employees) were attending for the first time. I’d guess the number to be between 30-40% of the audience, and that’s a fantastic leading indicator for our ecosystem expansion and success in partnering efforts across the organization Our President and CEO, Maury Blackman ,...
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Guest Blog: Building a Better Palo Alto with Civic Insight


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Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Civic Insight , one of Accela’s app partners . Picture this: you’re an entrepreneur who’s just signed the lease on your new storefront. You’re itching to knock down some walls, to make the space embody your vision. Or maybe you’re a homeowner looking to remodel your kitchen, or finally finish out that basement. These folks are vital to a thriving city: the ones launching new businesses, fixing up old buildings, investing in their homes and creating new places for residents to live, work and play. As a public servant looking to foster economic development, you want to make it as easy as possible for people to build in your city. But you also need to make sure that they’re building up to code. Unfortunately, securing a building permit is often a daunting experience—especially for first-time builders. Figuring out which permits you need...
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