Building an Open311 Application
Earlier this year, I had an idea to build a Twitter application that would allow a citizen to start a 311 service request with their city. At the time, there was no way to build such an application as no municipality had yet adopted a 311 API that would support it (although the District of… Continue reading
Cleaning up Graffiti. With Twitter.
Can you use Twitter to clean up graffiti? Or patch potholes? Or report a problem with a sidewalk, sewer covering or trash pickup? If you live in San Francisco, the answer is yes. This yes answer will soon apply to the District of Columbia as well, and any other city that adopts the Open311 standard.… Continue reading
Open Data: It’s About the Economy Stupid!
When you look at some of the places where government agencies have embraced open data, you see something interesting. You see active, engaged developer communities building great applications that benefit both citizens and governments. At almost exactly the time that I write this post, there are developers gathering in Google’s NYC offices to hack on… Continue reading
What’s Old is New: How Citizens Communicate with Government
Social media enthusiasts (myself included) let out a big huzzah recently at the results of a study conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project entitled Government Online. The report, like a similar one several years ago, looks at how citizens communicate and interact with their government. This study focused specifically on online contact… Continue reading
Making Democratic Participation Frictionless
This week, I had the pleasure of presenting at the Emerging Communications Conference & Awards (eComm) event in San Francisco. I gave a presentation on the convergence of two powerful trends that promise to deliver more and more choices to people in how to communicate, interact and transact with their governments. The first is the… Continue reading
OpenGov APIs: Interfacing with Open Government
There has been lots of good talk (and a good deal of action) lately around open government APIs at events like Transparency Camp, Where 2.0 and on the Twitters. So, as a prelude to a talk I’ll be giving at eComm next month, I wanted to write a post surveying the landscape of recent government… Continue reading
Open311 Goes Big Time
This was a big week for the Open311 initiative. Federal CIO Vivek Kundra joined Gov 2.0 rock star Mayor Gavin Newsom from the City of San Francisco to announce a national initiative to adopt a common standard for a 311 API. The number of supporters for the initiative is growing, and I think it’s high… Continue reading
Twitter, Facebook, Geotagging and 311
Several weeks back, I wrote a quick post about the new locational functionality being rolled out in Twitter. Now that this new functionality is being supported by more and more Twitter clients, I think its time for an object lesson in how Twitter’s new locational feature (and soon Facebook’s) can be used to engage citizens… Continue reading
NoSQL Telephony with Tropo and CouchDB
In the last two posts, I’ve provided a basic overview of how to create cloud telephony applications using the Tropo platform and CouchDB. In the first post of this series, I walked through a quick install of CouchDB and provided information on getting a Tropo account set up. In the second post, we created a… Continue reading
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… Continue reading
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.