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Open Data Is Here: How Will You Bring Your Agency’s Data to Life?

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The office has been buzzing with excitement this week with the launch of CivicData.com . We’ve been hard at work to bring this to fruition. More importantly, everyone at Accela is excited about what this means for our customers. In recent months, the City of El Paso created a Garbage App with CityGovApp that increases driver productivity while enhancing citizen engagement—all from a smartphone. Civic hackers used Salt Lake City’s data to create a “Taco Cart” app, which helps citizens (and presumably inspectors) locate these mobile food establishments. We’re amazed by the sheer volume of civic-minded developers who are looking to build and deploy apps for government. Oftentimes, they don’t understand what kind of data you have. Just opening up your data can result in unexpected new ways to engage with citizens and businesses. Several agencies have already published datasets on CivicData.com. What will your data look like? In case...
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Democratize Your Data with CivicData.com

By now, I hope you’ve heard about the open data movement , and have seen how forward-thinking agencies are driving innovation by leveraging open data in hackathons and events like CityCamp Palo Alto . There are some shining examples of how open data is being used to add value and deliver services to communities. This opportunity is huge and has undeniable potential to impact governing, civic engagement and government business. But the open data movement is in its infancy, and we have a long way to go before the real value of open data begins to be realized. Honest reflection tells us that today, a small fraction of agencies are actively providing open data, it’s complex and costly for them, and there are very few implemented standards—datasets are described in very different ways. From a developer standpoint, these datasets are deployed uniquely for each jurisdiction. That makes it very difficult...
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The Accela Open Data Platform: Coming Soon to An Agency Near You

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During the opening keynote at the Accela Engage conference two weeks ago, I gave a sneak peek look at the upcoming Accela Open Data Platform. It was gratifying to see how that quick peek turned into the talk of the conference. During the weeklong conference, I had numerous agencies approach me asking when they can get their hands on our new Open Data Platform. Each person who approached me had the same thing to say: “What you have created is exactly what my agency needs and solves our current open data problems perfectly.” And just yesterday, our very own Maury Blackman discussed open data on NBC's Press:Here with Scott McGrew in a segment titled “ Bringing Government Data Online .” So, what exactly is it that Accela is up to and what is our strategy when it comes to Open Data? I answered these questions during a session on Open...
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See Accela Solutions in Action: Permitting and Inspection & Code Enforcement

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Many government agencies have already discovered the benefits of moving their permitting and inspection and code enforcement processes online. Whether your agency serves a large metropolitan area or a small town , the benefits are the same: doing more with less—in less time. So, what can you do that you couldn’t do before? Government agencies can save time by accepting and managing permits online and capturing inspection results in real time. Developers, contractors and citizens can submit permit applications and review progress and make updates without making a trip to City Hall. Inspectors can interact with complete case information, access their daily inspection schedules, create new cases in the field, and submit inspection results remotely. Code officers can seamlessly create and manage cases in the field using their mobile devices—whether they are performing proactive sweeps or following up on issues reported by police, fire professionals, citizens or other community partners....
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