Are you located in the Sacramento, Yolo, or Solano County areas and interested in Open Government?
If so, please get in touch.
I'd like to connect with people interested in improving government, through transparency and civic engagement.
I'm currently working a project called "Democracy Map", which is designed to be an open database (with API) for all government agencies and eventually public officials that developers can contribute to and build upon to provide hyperlocal public content.
There is an open conference call on May 3rd at 11am via Skype, and all feedback is more than welcome.
Reposted announcement from Philip Ashlock, The Open Planning Project:
I'd like to invite you to take part in the initiative to bring cities together in the pursuit of sharing technology and standards for 311 services. Please forward this to other interested parties.
To attend or see the current list of attendees including other cities: http://open311.eventbrite.com/ (So far the 311 teams from NYC, D.C., Toronto, Columbus, and other cities are attending)
On October 24th, The Open Planning Project will host Open311 DevCamp at their NYC office. Please register to attend either in person or remotely via Eventbrite (it’s free). This is a DevCamp style un-conference to coordinate a standard specification for 311 services. Washington D.C’s 311 API will be a major case-study for developing a more universal 311 API. In general, this DevCamp will be an opportunity to discuss and develop what’s needed to make 311 services more accessible and for cities to share knowledge for mutual benefit. The event is intended for developers, project managers, and policy makers involved with 311 services. We encourage those involved with 311 services from all cities to take part. If you cannot attend in person, please sign up as a remote attendee and we’ll provide you with information about how to connect to the DevCamp remotely.
Ultimately this conversation will lead to a standard specification for 311 services, but the very first goal is to create an environment for knowledge-sharing and best practices.
On the same day there will another event in NYC that focuses on coordinating open technology for mobile devices and we plan to coordinate with that event as well: http://openmobilecamp.eventbrite.com/
I hope you can be involved or can forward this to the most relevant person in your city. Please let me know if you have any questions.
My name is Alec Resnick, and I'm working to start up an open community research and education lab with a focus on educational outreach and data visualization called sprout. You can check out a placeholder page at http://thesprouts.org -- that'll be changing pretty significantly in the next couple weeks.
But, that's kinda beside the point of this email. While talking to some potential partners for the nonprofit I'm starting, I met with some people at the Executive Office of Transportation (EOT) in Boston. They're really keen to bring together a handful of developers who might be interested in working with them to develop applications on top of the data they're beginning to collect and open up (stuff like traffic cams, traffic flow, MBTA schedules, etc.) A few other hackers will be getting together with the Josh Robin and Chris Dempsey from the EOT to talk about what developers would like to see from the EOT and to discuss the potential for hacking on the data the EOT is opening up.
If you're interested, feel free to comment here or shoot me an email at alec::at::thesprouts.org. The EOT was hoping to meet with developers sometime next week, but they're flexible. . .
Hi DIY City,
You can skip the first paragraph I'm sure, but check out what's happening at PCamp with open data.
Dear Fans of Transparency and Participation,
In recent weeks, several organizations in New York have taken big steps towards making New York City's public data accessible and useful to software developers. There's still a lot of work to be done, but the end of the story could be a wealth of new ways that citizens will be able to effectively and efficiently participate in the governance of their city. Several of those groups will be getting the ball rolling at this weekend's Participation Camp, an open and free unconference on citizen participation in government.
Register now to reserve your spot and stay up-to-date: http://participationcamp.org
Here's what's happening:
GALE A. BREWER, NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL
As Chair of the Committee on Technology in Government, Councilmember Brewer recently proposed comprehensive legislation for making New York City’s public data accessible and machine readable. She will host a discussion at Participation Camp on Saturday at 2:30 pm to discuss this legislation and get feedback from the open government community and interested citizens.
The bill, Introduction No. 991, can be read in full here.
OPEN 311 CODE SPRINT
Throughout PCamp, ITP’s workshop space will be open to collaboration on open government Internet applications. On Saturday, we’ll hold a sprint focused on Open 311: an initiative to make municipal data more readily available to programmers who want to make useful applications. Philip Ashlock from The Open Planning Project will help coordinate development of Open 311 related projects in conjunction with Open311.org. Peter Corbett, organizer of Washington D.C.’s ongoing Apps for Democracy Contest, will provide direction and best practices based on D.C.’s Open 311 API. We also encourage contestants of Apps for Democracy to work together at PCamp, as their July 1st deadline approaches. On Sunday, the workshop will remain open for any projects that grow out of Saturday’s efforts and the camp in general.
MARK BELINSKY, OPENMYCITY
Mark serves as director of Digital Democracy, but at PCamp he will lead a session on the OpenMyCity project. The goal of OpenMyCity is to find the best ideas about how to make use of municipal open data by asking citizens and organizations to answer a simple fill-in-the-blank question: “If I knew ___, I could do ___.”
OpenMyCity is backed by a coalition that formed around the Pioneers conference that took place recently in New York and Amsterdam. At PCamp, Mark will lead a workshop to build a plan for capturing as many stories as possible. This effort provides a human component to the technological and legislative efforts already happening around municipal data.
Following yesterday's presentation and working group session with the City's IT Manager at OpenWebVancouver09, Luke Closs has setup a Google Group specifically focused on the Open Data component of Andrea Reimer's "Open Data, Open Standards, Open Source" motion.
You can join the group at http://groups.google.ca/group/vancouver-data/
James Charlesworth at Neboweb in Atlanta, GA built this site for people living in Atlanta. The site is a great step towards open information in the area and will help locals identify crime history by neighborhood. The site is:
Just yesterday we launched an innovation contest in Washington DC to build a citizen driven 311 service platform.
Apps for Democracy "Community Edition" (http://www.appsfordemocracy.org) is taking place between now and the end of June with $35,000 in prizes...for the best solution to 311 service request submissions.
The city is releasing a API for developers to use and our insights phase is open http://insights.appsfordemocracy.org.
What do you think?
After I saw the huge success of @TamaleTracker I thought, we can't be the only people who could benefit from a real time messaging service like this. Why not utilize what Twitter has provided for me, a common data source that people are becoming more and more familiar with, combined with this technology and make it available for anyone who wants to create their own tamale tracker or other service to aggregate their followers content. So I created the Spotd service to do just that.
Spotd and its a free service that listens for @replies sent to a Twitter account and then relays those messages through itself. It's the same functionality as the Tamale Tracker but this can be used for anyone and anyone can set one up. Simply register a Twitter account to the Spotd service and any reply sent to the account will be retweeted.
In addition to being a bot for Twitter accounts, Spotd also is my try at creating a real time communication device for cities and towns across the world. I spend a lot of time walking around Chicago and see interesting things happen all the time - people getting arrested, car accidents, buildings on fire, bank robbery, protests and other news-worthy things. I tweet about them, but I wanted to create something to give people a common source of communication throughout their city to stay on top of things that are happening right now without having to wait for major media outlets to cover them. That’s where the Spotd news service comes in, it is an aggregated, user-submitted news feed for interesting things going on - so far, I created accounts for @SpotdChicago, @SpotdLA, @SpotdSF and @SpotdNYC; with more to come and any user can create their own Spotd news service for their own city.
I hope you can see the value in this as much as I do, if you'd like more information, have any suggestions or would like to help me work on this, please feel free to contact me.
I wanted to let share with the group a new project I just started working on this week using the same technology as the @tamaletracker (twitter.com/tamaletracker). I spend a lot of time walking around Chicago and always notice interesting things going on – from people getting arrested, to celebrity sightings and news-worthy events. I tweet about these sort of things, but have always thought it would be nice to have something or someone to tweet these to, a common data source and place to go for this sort of information. That’s where @Spotd (twitter.com/spotd) comes in, it is an aggregated, user-submitted news feed for interesting things going on, specific to the city you live in - Chicago for now.
I, like many people, always want to be on top of things going on in Chicago (from the standpoint of locals) – this is the perfect way for people to stay updated on what’s going on, right now, in their city. This includes and is not limited to crime reports, breaking news, celebrity sightings, traffic incidents, etc. Best of all with the support of Twitpic users can get actual footage of things that are happening instead of waiting for the major news networks to get out and report on them.
The functionality is the same as the @tamaletracker system. Users tweet a reply to @spotd when they witness said arrests, celebrity sightings and news-worthy events. The system then will relay their message through the http://twitter.com/spotd user account.
In the next couple days(I hope) I am going to whip up a web page and some more descriptive text about the service and make it more extensible than the built in Twitter functionality. As of now I only created an account for Chicago, however this can easily be expanded in a manner of minutes.
I hope you can see the value in this as much as I do, if you'd like more information or have any suggestions, please feel free to contact me.
Hey all -
You may have seen on the main thread that the DIYtraffic Bot is up and running in beta and we've got it tracking traffic right here in Chicago!
There are a couple ways you can interact with it:
1) follow traffic_chicago on Twitter to receive real-time updates (to your mobile phone, if you wish)
2) send a reply to @traffic_chicago to post your own traffic info if you see an accident or jam (no texting and driving, 'natch)
3) send the account a direct message with the name of a street to find out if there have been any recent traffic reports containing that street name (note, if you follow traffic_chicago, it will take about 30m for it to follow you back so you can send DMs to it).
Let me know if you have any problems / questions / comments or suggestions!