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Sharing the open source journey with Kansas City

Sharing the open source journey with Kansas City

The first half of CityCamp Kansas City was productive, collaborative, and eye-opening. The morning was overflowing with open source knowledge, the sharing of ideas, and expert talks. The event started with 14 lighting talks–a ton of information crammed into a five-minute talk.

More than 150 attendees learned about the Google Fiber initiative, spatial city mapping, SeeClickFix, Bike Walk KC, Open Missouri, and much more. Then I got to share the open source stories from Raleigh, NC in my presentation, "How open source is changing citizen engagement." [PDF] Based on the initial feedback from a few folks, it was inspiring and "sparked the individual/collective imagination." » Read more

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EveryVote: An open source platform with a side of democratic collaboration

EveryVote: An open source platform with a side of democratic collaboration

You want to get more involved with your government, but the red tape and politics are overwhelming. Maybe you just want "the facts" to make your own informed decision. This is where start-up project EveryVote comes in. This is not an open source electronic voting project. EveryVote wants to encourage citizens to take a more active and informed role in their government.

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Kansas City explores open government, civic life, and innovation

Kansas City explores open government, civic life, and innovation

The exploration of open government and civic participation in Kansas City has already begun. This weekend, a new chapter begins. A chapter that will include open source, open data, citizen engagement, a Bike Walk hackathon, and more. In fact, it might materialize into several chapters that could start with rapid-fire lighting talks and end with dueling mayors who are innovating beyond borders. And what would a CityCamp be without an unconference? That's a whole chapter by itself.

Meet Jase Wilson, a civic entrepreneur and CEO of Luminopolis. He's one of the main organizers for CityCamp Kansas City. Before I head out to Kansas City this weekend, I wanted to know more about the event and the open government movement in the Kansas City metro area. Here's my interview with Jase Wilson. » Read more

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Open data takes a ride with Geeks on DaBus

Open data takes a ride with geeks on DaBus

One of the first publicly available open dataset/API from the City & County of Honolulu is the one made available by O`ahu Transit Services, provider of The Bus service. With open data, anyone could develop an app using The Bus API and three such apps were built, Hea.theBus.org, Allb.us and an iPhone app called DaBus. Both Allb.us and DaBus were developed as a result of the City's CityCamp Honolulu and Hackathon, this past December 2011 and January 2012, respectively. » Read more

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Is vendor lock-in costing Helsinki 3.4 million Euros per year?

Is vendor lock-in costing Helsinki 3.4 million Euros per year?

A report on the City of Helsinki's pilot project for the use of OpenOffice in the public administrations leaves the public with more questions than answers. The city trialled the Free Software productivity suite on the laptops of council members for ten months in 2011. The suite enjoyed high approval rates among its users. When the pilot was finished, the City produced a report stating that the costs of migrating the entire administration to OpenOffice would be very high. » Read more

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Code for America recruiting startups for Civic Startup Accelerator

Code for America's recruiting startups for Civic Startup Accelerator

Soon after we launched the Code for America (CfA) fellowship, we realized that to accomplish the kind of change we were seeking not only would government have to change but also the civic tech ecosystem. There needed to be more innovation, more dynamism, more entrepreneurship. City Hall needs disruption from the outside as well. So taking from the precedent set in other industries (the consumer web, healthcare, clean tech, social, etc) — we decided to build a startup accelerator, focused on disrupting civic space.

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Iceland's public administrations moving towards open source

Iceland's public administrations moving towards open source

All public administrations in Iceland are increasing their use of free and open source software. The country's government recently launched a one year migration project for all of its public institutions. "The goal of the project is not to migrate public institutions to free and open source software in one single year but to lay a solid foundation for such a migration which institutions can base their migration plans on", reports Tryggvi Björgvinsson, the project leader.

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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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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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