"civic apps" entries

San Francisco looks to tap into the open data economy

With revised legislation and a chief data officer, San Francisco is iterating on its platform goals.

As interest in open data continues to grow around the world, cities have become laboratories for participatory democracy. They’re also ground zero for new experiments in spawning civic startups that deliver city services or enable new relationships between the people and city government. San Francisco was one of the first municipalities in the United States to embrace the city as a platform paradigm in 2009, with the launch of an open data platform.

Years later, the city government is pushing to use its open data to accelerate economic development. On Monday, San Francisco announced revised open data legislation to enable that change and highlighted civic entrepreneurs who are putting the city’s data to work in new mobile apps.

City staff have already published the revised open data legislation on GitHub. (If other cities want to “fork” it, clone away.) David Chiu, the chairman of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the city’s legislative body, introduced the new version on Monday and submitted it on Tuesday. A vote is expected before the end of the year.

Speaking at the offices of the Hatchery in San Francisco, Chiu observed that, by and large, the data that San Francisco has put out showed the city in a positive light. In the future, he suggested, that should change. Chiu challenged the city and the smartest citizens of San Francisco to release more data, figure out where the city could take risks, be more entrepreneurial and use data to hold the city accountable. In his remarks, he said that San Francisco is working on open budgeting but is still months away from getting the data that they need. Read more…

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Can the People's House become a social platform for the people?

The combined potential of social media and legislative data took the stage at the first congressional hackathon.

Leaders of the House of Representatives met with Facebook developers and open government advocates to talk about how technology can improve the legislative process. New prototype apps hint at the future that awaits the "People's House" in the 21st century.

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Gov 2.0 enters the mainstream on NPR and the AP

NPR and the Associated Press recently focused on civic apps and other Gov 2.0 topics.

Civic applications recently pushed a bit further into the public's consciousness via a lively discussion on Washington's local NPR station, WAMU, and through an Associated Press article that examined open data and apps.

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