One of the keys to a successful open data portal is to make it useful for the end user. Citizens and developers should be able to understand data sets without needing a PhD. I've been following the progress of Raleigh, North Carolina's open data initiative, which launched a beta of their data.... Read more
Chemistry is not the most open field of scientific endeavor; in fact, as I began working more in the area (coming from a background in physics), I was surprised with the norms in the field. As a PhD student way back in 2003, I simply wanted to draw a 3D molecular structure on my operating system of... Read more
"Got code?" is the theme of the Alameda County Apps Challenge 2013.1, the second in a series of unique day-long events designed to challenge the public to create web and mobile applications using Alameda County open data sets. The Apps Challenge will run from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm on Saturday, April... Read more
The term "Open Government" (OG, hereafter) has been used since the 70s to refer to the effort to reduce bureaucratic opacity and open up governments to public scrutiny. Current notions of OG are thus the result of more than four decades of endeavours to increase the transparency of government... Read more
Data on the products we buy is rarely viewed as something to be opened. But in fact, the international standards that make it possible for products to be traded across borders can be used by consumers for their own ends—to help improve information—sharing and choice across the planet. There is... Read more
I have a regional, collaborative philosophy of open data initiatives and municipalities. In North Carolina, the cities of Cary, Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill all share the economic engine that is the Research Triangle Park. They also share the innovation engine of five, top universities. The... Read more
I recently co-founded an organization called OpenOakland with Code for America alumni Eddie Tejeda. One of our passions was that we both believe that government can and should be much more than a vending machine. It’s no secret that current local governments have a ton of changing to do, but we... Read more
It's been a great year for the open source movement in government. I feel like we've moved the needle on the transparency, collaboration, and participation fronts. More importantly, the open government movement saw a fair amount of code released under open source licenses and lots of activity in... Read more
Two years ago, I met some open data advocates from Brazil and Ottawa, and we schemed of doing an international open data hackathon. A few weeks later, this blog post launched International Open Data Day with the hope that supporters would emerge in 5-6 cities to host local events.
There's a new twist on election day—giving feedback on your voting experience. U.S. citizens voting in today's election can share what it was like at their polling location using MyFairElection.