Government

Pushing for open data? 3 steps to consider

Pushing for open data? 3 steps to consider

Open Data is fast becoming a ‘hot topic’ in government. I’m proud to see my colleagues & fellow open gov supporters helping governments around the world launch their cloud-powered open data catalogues: from the Government of Columbia and the European Union, to the Canadian cities of Regina, SK and Medicine Hat, AB. But it’s not all, as they say, Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows.

My recent involvement with the failed Open Data resolution in Milton, Ontario caused me to re-think some of the basics for a successful open data initiative. Taken from a municipal open data initiative perspective, the 3 steps below will help make an open data, open government or open data motion stick:

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The Code for America brigade effect

The Code for America 'brigade effect'

Have you ever seen results from your community engagement and realized the impact of your efforts? We recently told you about the LocalWiki project and shared some of the results from the Triangle Wiki day event. But then our friends at Code for America took it a step further. » Read more

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Open States project achieves grand milestone

Open States project achieves grand milestone

Three years ago at PyCon 2009, we had the first PyCon Open Government Hackathon. Our big project was Open States (then the 50 State Project). The goal was to begin scraping state legislatures' websites in the hope of providing a common format for bill metadata across all 50 states.

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Transparency isn't a cost – it's a cost saver

Transparency isn’t a cost – it’s a cost saver

Last month, Don Drummond - a leading economist hired by the Ontario government to review how the province delivers services in the face of declining economic growth and rising deficits - published his report.

There is much to commend, it lays out stark truths that frankly, many citizens already know, but that government was too afraid to say aloud. It is a report that, frankly, I think many provincial and state governments may look at with great interest since the challenges faced by Ontario are faced by governments across North America (and Europe). » Read more

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Department of Commerce app challenge--an interview with Mike Kruger

Department of Commerce app challenge

Last month, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced a "Commerce Business Apps Challenge" to developers to look for innovative ways to utilize the Department’s  and other publicly available data to help businesses identify opportunities, grow, enhance productivity and create jobs.

With the submission deadline of April 30 fast approaching, I interviewed the Department’s Mike Kruger who is heading up the effort. » Read more

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The U.S. Government promotes open innovation--Is it now mainstream?

We live in an open source world

"We live in an open source world."

For many readers of opensource.com, those words are probably a part of your daily life; in all likelihood, you take them for granted.  They reflect the commonality of how many of you work, and engage publicly.

But I heard those words last month from a former member of Congress. Tom Perriello, the moderator of a panel on 'open innovation’ held at a mainstream think tank here in Washington (the Center for American Progress), gives them a different context. » Read more

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Community spotlight: 5 questions with system administrator Marek Mahut

Community spotlight: 5 questions with system administrator Marek Mahut

Meet Marek Mahut. He's a system administrator in Brno, Czech republic, works for Red Hat, and has an interest in the public sector—particularly in how it can be more open and transparent. Marek has contributed several articles on public policy and transparency in government, including Open source is illegal? This very popular post generated thousands of page views and some interesting conversation. Marek also contributes reports on several open source events that he attends.

On opensource.com, community is very important. We want to continue to recognize our community members who contribute in ways other than writing articles--things like rating and commenting, voting in polls, and sharing our collective work on social media. We hope you enjoy getting to know Marek. » Read more

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LocalWiki project spawns open source communities

LocalWiki project spawns open source communities

Who says open source is all about code and hackathons have to stick to computer hacking? Code Across America is a different kind of open source community, and it came together on February 25, 2012. This effort was part of civic innovation week (February 24-March 4), where over a dozen cities in the United States have citizens organizing to improve their cities and communities. Simultaneous events included hackathons, unconferences, meet-ups, and Code for America ’brigades’ deploying existing open source applications. This is a story about building community knowledge the open source way, using the open source platform LocalWiki. » Read more

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Open Data Handbook version 1.0

Open Data Handbook version 1.0

The Handbook discusses the ‘why, what and how’ of open data – why to go open, what open is, how to make data open and how to do useful things with it.

Read on to find out more about what’s in the Handbook, who it’s for, and how you can get involved – for example by adding to and improving the Handbook, or by translating it into more languages. » Read more

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Open innovation--the passion behind the Civic Commons community

Open innovation--the passion behind the Civic Commons community

From the beginning, Civic Commons has been a dynamic community initiative.  What began in January 2010 as a simple wiki of open government policies and practices (originally called “OpenMuni”, domains for which were simultaneously and independently obtained by Code for America and OpenPlans), grew into a partnership between the two organizations to support the growing open government technology movement, and is now an open community of civic hackers, government technologists, entrepreneurs and many others.

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