Photo: Code for America

Bringing California open data to life

Okay, I admit it: Even as a champion of open data, I find that it’s often mundane to view data on a portal. Simple lists of datasets — and even the maps and charts you can create — don’t truly show the intrinsic value of data that’s been freed to benefit communities.

Golden Gate Bridge (photo: Luke Fretwell)

City enthusiasts, innovators: Register for BRIDGE SF

San Francisco Bay Area city enthusiasts and innovators can now register for BRIDGE SF, “a collaboration of public, private, non-profit, and academic institutions coming together to challenge assumptions, develop skills, share best practices, and build partnerships that drive innovation for a better tomorrow.”

California

California seeks CIOs

Of significant importance is the state CIO opening, and its convergence with evolving talk of establishing a government digital service team, much like what has been done in the United Kingdom and here in the United States with the U.S. Digital Service and 18F.

"No ugly, old IT."

‘No ugly, old IT.’

“No ugly, old IT” jumped out at me when I first reviewed DataSF’s strategic plan, “Data in San Francisco: Meeting supply, spurring demand,” and it still sticks, mostly because someone inside government was so bold as to make this a priority and openly communicate it and also because this should be a mantra for everyone building civic technology.

Photo: Shinya Suzuki

How and why Los Angeles deployed open source and agile

Last week at DrupalCon, representatives from the city of Los Angeles, CivicActions and Acquia shared their development and project management process to begin migrating and consolidating websites across 40 agencies to a single instance using Acquia Cloud Site Factory.

Palo Alto Civic Technology Center

Inside Palo Alto’s new Civic Technology Center

Last week, I met with Palo Alto Chief Information Officer Jonathan Reichental to get a tour of the city’s new Civic Technology Center, an open space that centralizes the city’s information technology staff, call and data centers into one working area.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (Photo: Eric Garcetti)

What if mayors ruled the world?

Freakonomics Radio has a great episode on the dynamics of mayors and their ability (compared to governors and presidents) to directly and immediately impact the lives of citizens, primarily because they deal with tactical issues with relatively less political obstacles.

Photo: Code for America

These 7 local governments will Code for America in 2015

Code for America today announced the next class of municipalities for its 2015 Fellowship Program that partners civic technologists with local governments for one year to “explore answers to local challenges by engaging with the community, building applications, and testing the results.”

Port of San Francisco (Photo: Luke Fretwell)

SF reboots open data efforts

It took a while for San Francisco to get a serious open data effort off the ground, but now that new chief data officer Joy Bonaguro has had some time to take lay of the land, she’s ready to roll.

Photo: Steve Rhodes

Inside the new BART.gov

Bay Area Rapid Transit Web Services Manager Timothy Moore discusses the recent upgrade of its flagship website, BART.gov, including a Drupal migration, embracing agile development, encouraging third-party developers to build off its open data and APIs, and plans for the future.