Civic Innovations

Technology, Government Innovation, and Open Data

The Growth of Civic Apps

A pretty good indicator of the growth in the number of “civic applications” can be seen in the creation of some new application directories.

City-Go-Round is a really nice site that pulls together dozens of applications that relate to travel and transit systems. It lets users enter a zip code so they can identify apps created specifically for their area (if any exist). I really like that this site focuses not only on the use of publicly released transit data, but also encourages users to advocate for more public transit data. You can view a list of agencies and sort by those that make their transit data public and those that don’t – it also lists contact information so that users can advocate with transit agency officials that don’t yet make their data public and get them to wise up.

Another site (still in the alpha stage) that lists applications specifically tailored to a particular geographic area is Appify. One of the brains behind this site is John Geraci (of fame). While this app directory doesn’t look to be focused exclusively on civic applications, there are several prominent ones represented in the alpha release – theNextTrain, SubwayDelay and SeeClickFix among them.

The civic application ecosystem is healthy and growing, and I think we’ll start to see more application directories like these as more and more governments and transit agencies start to make their data public.

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About Me

I am the former Chief Data Officer for the City of Philadelphia. I also served as Director of Government Relations at Code for America, and as Director of the State of Delaware’s Government Information Center. For about six years, I served in the General Services Administration’s Technology Transformation Services (TTS), and helped pioneer their work with state and local governments. I also led platform evangelism efforts for TTS’ cloud platform, which supports over 30 critical federal agency systems.

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