National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

Civicist: Fighting Information Disorder

6 tools to fact-check and spot fake news, layoffs at Upworthy, & more This is civic tech: I’m writing this today from MisinfoCon DC, the fourth gathering of a burgeoning network of researchers, hackers, journalists and democracy activists pulled together by Hacks/Hackers to share ideas and collaborate on projects. The crowd reminds me of the sorts […]

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Bethlehem, PA considers open data dump to lure civic hackers

In Bethlehem, city leaders are considering posting already public information online, hoping data lovers might spin it into something useful.

It's all part of the open data movement, where governments upload records on such things as air quality, crime, finances and traffic for people to digest, analyze and transform. Tech savvy millennials, so-called "civic hackers" and citizen watchdogs are the target audiences, with a hope that they will apply the data in ways that lead to better policies and more efficient governments.

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Syracuse, NY City Hall wants to make it easier for people to look at its data

City Hall wants people to have easier access to things like code violations, pothole locations and other information they're seeking.

Syracuse's innovation office is crafting an open data policy for sharing all sorts of stats on the operation of city government.

Under the new policy, the city would release information on things like outstanding code violations, location of potholes and other data routinely sought by residents. It will also provide analysis of that data and show trends where available.

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City of Seattle’s Open Data Program releases its 2016 Annual Report and 2017 Open Data Plan

Today the Seattle Open Data Program has published its 2016 Annual Report as well as its 2017 Open Data Plan. As this is the first time the City has released either of these publications, it marks an important step forward in the maturation of our Open Data Program.

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Sunshine Foundation: City of Riverside, CA connects communities to sustainable open data

On March 7, 2017, Riverside’s City Council passed an open data proclamation. The announcement formalized its commitment to an upcoming resolution to proactively release open data and provide free access to the public.

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What’s New in Civic Tech: Sunlight Foundation Guide Seeks to Improve Open Data Practices

The Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that works with tech and other initiatives to make government more transparent, has released a new Tactical Data Engagement guide aimed at helping cities engage residents and improve communities with public data.

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Md.: Open data portal encourages residents to analyze their government

Data from the Prince George’s County government became easier to access this week after the county relaunched a website that gives the public the power to probe, download and search data sets about everything from building permits to crime.

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Open Data Portal Beta Encourages Visitors to ‘Analyze Boston’

Boston has launched a beta version of a new citywide open data platform.

This project, dubbed Analyze Boston, is a work in progress, and city officials said in a statement that they hope the now-online preview will “spark conversation and get feedback” leading up to its official release this spring. The project's goal is to upgrade and enhance Boston’s current open data portal, on which Mayor Marty Walsh has long encouraged agencies to publish their data sets.

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Long Island: N. Hempstead residents can view town expenditures on website

North Hempstead residents can now precisely track how their tax dollars are spent, with the town’s recent launch of a comprehensive website showing years of its expenditures.

From auto equipment purchases to contracts awarded to vendors, residents can access online checkbooks dating from 2014 up to January 2017.

Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said the website — northhempstead.com/opengov — is part of her administration’s ongoing effort to boost openness and transparency.

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Seattle Civic Tech: Hacking Government Bureaucracy One App at a Time

The easiest way to explain civic technology? Open up the OneBusAway app on your smartphone.

OneBusAway gives users real-time transit info. So, the next time you’re at the bus stop wondering how long you need to wait, you can just tap the OneBusAway app and it will tell you the number of minutes accurately and instantaneously.

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