Karen Wilkinson


Karen is a former staff writer for Government Technology magazine.

September 22, 2010

Google Launches Midterm Election Projection Mapping

Creator hopes to ‘make tracking the blues and reds a little easier for armchair pundits’ with new Google map.

September 21, 2010

California University Crowdsources Air Quality Using Smartphones

Visibility app aims to put air quality monitoring into citizens’ hands.

September 20, 2010

Indiana Digitizes Civil War, National Guards Index Records

Indiana online archives includes court and military records.

September 16, 2010

West Virginia and Employees at Odds Over Possible IT Outsourcing

Citing drastic job losses and mixed results in states that have privatized services, workers union files legal challenge; state claims millions of dollars in savings will be realized.

September 15, 2010

Appleton, Wis., to Launch GIS-Based Road Sign Inventory

GIS solution to streamline maintenance system and will be made available on tablet computers for fieldworkers.

September 14, 2010

Pet Poop Fueling City Park Light, Sparks Conversation

Science and art meet to provide alternative waste disposal method, which in turn is powering a gas-burning lamppost.

August 27, 2010

Colorado Cold Case Database Launched

Online portal for cold cases in Colorado spurs public interest in more than 1,600 unsolved cases.

August 26, 2010

New York State Senate Leads Nation in Launching iPad, Mobile Phone Legislative Apps

The creation of an iPad app of New York State Senate business was primarily driven by senators who had just purchased the devices or were using one through a pilot Apple.

August 25, 2010

Louisville, Ky., Expands Fiscal Transparency Portal to Include Vendor Contract Details

Site also features employees' salaries and stimulus funding for Louisville.

August 24, 2010

Philadelphia Bloggers Who Make Money Ordered to Pay City Business License Fee

Through sharing agreement with the IRS, Philadelphia city government identified 32,000 people who reported business income, including bloggers, but failed to attain a business license.

August 23, 2010

IT Security Incidents Prompt Nashville, Tenn., to Strengthen Policy, Hire IT Security Chief

Nashville is poised to implement a comprehensive security policy this fall, officials say.

August 19, 2010

Vermont Aims For Universal Broadband, Cellular Coverage

Officials hope federal grants will help transform Vermont from a broadband laggard to a broadband leader.

August 16, 2010

New York City to Test Wireless Social Bicycle System

Citing infrastructure costs as obstacle, Social Bicycle System founder taps wireless technologies to fuel communications.

August 11, 2010

California Cities and Counties Mandated to Disclose Public Employees' Salaries

From lifeguards to police chiefs, State Controller's Office expands reporting requirements, wages to be posted online this November.

August 11, 2010

Public-Use Electric Vehicle Quick-Charge Station Opens in Portland, Ore.

First of its kind in nation, vehicles can charge in 20 to 30 minutes in a local parking garage.

August 9, 2010

Orlando International Airport to Get Remote Baggage Screening Upgrade

Baggage screening system commonly used by hotel and resort travelers to be remodeled, get new equipment with $23 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.

August 8, 2010

Are Digital Copy Machines Really a Security Concern?

Governments could unintentionally release data to identity thieves if proper measures for software disposal aren't taken.

August 6, 2010

California Is Latest State to Ponder Regulating Online Politics

Just like TV and print ads, Internet-based campaigning should be held to same disclosure requirements, watchdog says.

August 4, 2010

Desktop Virtualization in Denton, Texas, Saves Money, Gives Employees Mobility

Patrol officers can file reports from the field via remote desktop; city replaces desktop PCs with cube-shaped devices.

August 3, 2010

Maryland Social Media Campaign Rules Take Effect

As election primary looms, Maryland "is leading the way for the rest of the country," Facebook says.

July 31, 2010

Practical iPhone Apps

Top iPhone apps for the IT-minded.

July 29, 2010

Web Search Is the New King of Government Portals

Citizens want better website search functionality and social media prioritized by government agencies.

July 26, 2010

San Francisco Cell Phone Radiation Disclosure Law Challenged

Cell phone lobby group seeks to stop San Francisco from posting radiation levels, says law misleads public. Attorney's Office says right-to-know law informs consumers.

July 23, 2010

Parolees Monitored by GPS Don't Get Free Ride at State Fair

Better public awareness leads to fewer arrests this year of GPS-monitored parolees at California State Fair, officials said.    

July 21, 2010

California IT Consolidation Report: Some Agencies Miss E-Mail Deadline

Online progress reports to be posted quarterly as part of executive order.

July 14, 2010

California Cities Eye San Francisco Cell Phone Radiation Disclosure Law

In absence of federal or state legislation, more cities start researching ordinances based on San Francisco model.

July 12, 2010

New York's Monroe County to Deploy Public Safety Radio System

A $30 million project to unite Monroe County, N.Y's agencies under single digital system.

July 9, 2010

New Jersey Telecom Audit Finds Unneeded Phone Lines

New Jersey Comptroller's report claims departments lack documentation to justify millions of dollars in phone costs, have renewed contracts for years without legal bidding process.

July 7, 2010

King County, Wash.'s Open Data Turned Into Real-Time Bus Tracking App

Part of open data initiative, Seattle-based county to make hundreds of data sets available for citizens, innovators to create apps.

July 6, 2010

Chicago Neighborhood to Get Greenest Parking Garage

Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood to be home of nation's first LEED Gold-certified parking garage.

June 30, 2010

California Digital License Plates May Hit Roadblock

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger threatens to veto 'distracting' driver bill, says lawmakers need to focus on passing a budget.

June 30, 2010

Technology in Libraries Critical to Unemployment Turnaround, Access to Social Services, Study Finds

While demand for technology services is up, spending is down at urban libraries, closing doors to the neediest.

June 28, 2010

Twitter to Tap Into Government Market With Added Resources

Popular microblogging site Twitter to create public policy department, hire government liaison, add potential revenue-making services.

June 25, 2010

App Development Rush Strikes California State Government

With dedicated mobile app developer, agencies make data available on mobile platforms.

June 24, 2010

Aurora, Colo., to Send Texts, RSS Feeds and E-Mail Alerts to Residents

City to implement GovDelivery subscription service as one-year pilot.

June 22, 2010

California Considers Digital License Plates With Pop-Up Ads

Public-private partnership would give the state DMV green light to research benefits, address concerns and potentially help plug $19 billion budget hole.

June 21, 2010

Davis, Calif., Wiki to Be Model for Local, People-Powered Media

Founders of the popular website nab $350,000 grant to create software for pilot communities to make their own wikis.

June 18, 2010

San Francisco Water Meters to Detect Leaks, Help Customers Track Usage

Embedded with digital chips, meters to track hourly usage, send e-mail alerts when consumption spikes.

June 16, 2010

California IT Consolidation Efforts Making Headway, Official Says

The California Office of the State Chief Information Officer is trying to build consensus among interdepartmental work groups in order to reach target deadlines for IT consolidation.

June 15, 2010

California to Test Drive DUI Ignition Locks in Pilot Program

Starting July 1, first-time and repeat DUI offenders in four big California counties will have to install in-car Breathalyzers.

June 14, 2010

Alabama, Rhode Island and Tennessee Redesign Web Portals Based on User Feedback

Expanded Web 2.0 options, user categories are common theme among Alabama, Rhode Island and Tennessee.

June 7, 2010

Maryland Leads the Way in Social Media Campaign Regulations

Online campaign ID rule would bring clarity to voters, help filter fake accounts.

June 4, 2010

Congress Wants Legislation to Obtain Prepaid Cell Phone Users' Identities

Bipartisan bill would pave way for law enforcement to tap now-anonymous users' calls, seeks to target drug dealers, terrorists.

June 2, 2010

California's Revamped Web Portal More Intuitive, Attractive and Searchable

CIO Teri Takai says portal is focused on search as opposed to going through traditional portals and links.

June 1, 2010

Love Nature? Website for Recreationalists Launched for Outdoor Season

Nonprofit partners with California to create comprehensive, interactive site that locates open-space lands.

May 27, 2010

California's Real-Time Air Quality Readings Online for Smoggy Summertime

Air Resources Board plans to enhance website features, add more real-time data.

May 26, 2010

Maryland Political Candidates May Have to Identify Social Media Sites

Draft proposal would set ground rules for the proper identification of political campaigns' social media sites.

May 25, 2010

Study: 8 Essential Elements for an Effective Government Social Media Policy

Center for Technology in Government study demystifies the ingedients for an effective social media policy.

May 21, 2010

New York Creates Online Cancer Data Map

The statewide cancer map shows diagnosis rates and potentially hazardous sites.

May 20, 2010

National Crowdsourcing Effort Proves the Value of Sending a Clear Message

'Grand Challenges' experiment shows social media prompts can be misinterpreted, amplified and taken too literally.

May 19, 2010

California Creates Portal for State's 10,000 IT Workers

Annual IT Academy Managers' class seeks to develop, hone skills for future CIOs.

May 13, 2010

Newton, N.J., Thinks 'Customer First' in Website Redesign

Town Manager Thomas Russo says looking at Web design through the customer's perspective resulted in a revamped website that was functional and aesthetically pleasing.

May 13, 2010

10 Factors to Consider Before Investing in Cloud Computing

Experts describe questions, key considerations for government agencies thinking about cloud computing deployment.

May 12, 2010

Make Your Government Agency Greener and Cut Costs Too

California Franchise Tax Board CIO Cathy Cleek offers tips on reducing overall carbon footprint.

May 11, 2010

National Prescription Drug Database Slowly Becoming Reality

Efforts to curb 'doctor shopping' can be impeded by some states' lack of monitoring programs.

May 7, 2010

San Francisco to Smarten Parking Meters for Demand-Based Pricing

As part of pilot project, prices will adjust based on demand, drivers can pay with credit cards and stay parked longer.

May 5, 2010

University Plans to Install Electronic Sensors to Track Class Attendance

Move would encourage participation, Northern Arizona University officials say, but students say it smells of Big Brother.

May 4, 2010

States Targeting Drunken Driving With Smartphone Apps

California partners with popular app company in hopes of thwarting drunken driving.

April 30, 2010

State and Local Public Agencies Grapple with Social Media Liability Concerns

Unlike the federal government, there's no one-size-fits-all approach for states and locals seeking protection when using sites like Facebook.

April 29, 2010

Franklin County, Ohio, Uses Address Verification Software to Collect Millions in Unpaid Taxes

Franklin County, Ohio, fills its coffers with the help of address verification software.

April 29, 2010

GPS-Enabled Devices Enhance Florida's Foster Care Recordkeeping

Florida's caseworkers use digital imagery that stamps the date, time and GPS-marked location.

April 27, 2010

Florida Launches Multiagency Data Sharing System for Assisting Children

Innovative thinking, not technology by itself, breaks down silos to enable collaboration and sharing.

April 23, 2010

Florida Census Website Aims to Catch the Uncounted

MyFloridaCensus.gov could also become a testing ground for a future online platform for redistricting.

April 20, 2010

Los Angeles City Councilman Launches 311 iPhone App

Pilot program in City Council President Eric Garcetti's district gives citizens tools to report and combat graffiti, other blight.

April 16, 2010

Legislation Changes Virginia's Online Tax Preparation Program

Virginia replaces free online tax filing system with public-private solution that charges fees to 'high-income' residents.

April 13, 2010

White House Musters 'Grand' Science and Tech Ideas via Twitter, Facebook

Deadline looms Thursday, April 15, for Grand Challenges of the 21st Century.

April 12, 2010

Golden Gate Bridge to Study Cashless Toll System

FasTrak, license plate imaging technologies could replace 35 toll booth collectors on San Francisco's iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Could this move signal a trend?

April 8, 2010

U.S. Justice Department to Create Online FOIA 'Report Card'

Open government plan will compare federal agencies' response times, request volumes and grant/denial rates, pertaining to open records requests coming through the Freedom of Information Act.

April 7, 2010

Scott County, Minn., Dips Into Cloud Computing Waters

Scott County becomes the first public-sector user of Amazon EC2 for disaster recovery.

April 7, 2010

Pittsburgh Seeks to Deter, Record Crime With More Cameras

City partners with educational institutions in applying for federal stimulus funds to install 220 cameras.

April 5, 2010

DC Codeathon Event Gathers Developers of Open Source Projects for Government

Developers create citability, transparency tools to meet open governance directive.

April 1, 2010

DOT Proposes to Ban Truckers, Bus Drivers from Texting While Driving

Transportation agency launches online forum to solicit public feedback, discussion.

March 31, 2010

Virginia Expands Broadband for State and Local Agencies

The Virginia Information Technologies Agency adds 14 broadband service providers to menu offered to state and local agencies.

March 29, 2010

Study Finds Americans Rely on Library Computers for Internet Access

Social networking, research and job hunting among top-ranked uses, according to University of Washington study.

March 22, 2010

States Turn to Technology to Dig Up Unpaid Taxes

Spotting tax delinquents can add up to millions of dollars in savings.

March 19, 2010

California IT Security Officials Still Wary of Cloud Computing

A panel of government chief information security officers at the Managing Technology conference talk about the risks of cloud computing and the need for background checks.

March 18, 2010

Utah, Los Angeles Share Cloud Computing Tips

Steve Fletcher, Utah's CIO, and Kevin Crawford, Los Angeles' assistant general manager of IT, share their experiences on cloud computing implementation.

March 16, 2010

High-Definition Cameras Help California Fire Lookouts

High-definition cameras attached to communications towers are being used to spot and assess wildfires in California.

March 15, 2010

FCC's National Broadband Plan: 'The Second Wave of Electricity'

Sweeping plan would overhaul U.S. broadband and make it the nation's primary communications network.

March 11, 2010

Veterans Affairs Planning to Automate 'Agent Orange' Claims

200,000-plus new claims expected to be filed as VA recognizes more herbicide exposure illnesses.

March 9, 2010

Miami 311 Goes Online, Keeps Phone Calls

Cash-strapped Miami IT department creates online app using Microsoft Azure platform.

March 5, 2010

Hillsborough County, Fla., Seeks Budget Cutting Ideas via Social Media

Tampa-based county creates Facebook, Twitter pages and blog in hopes of better engaging public in budget cutting process.

March 1, 2010

Pentagon Embraces Web 2.0 in Social Media Policy

The Department of Defense's new policy for using social media comes as states and the Obama administration tackle the same issue.

February 26, 2010

California CIO Issues Use Policy for Facebook, YouTube, Other Social Media

California Office of the Chief Information Officer issues policy letter on the appropriate use of social media tools like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other popular Web sites.

February 26, 2010

San Francisco Promotes Intergovernmental Collaboration via New Web Site

City officials hope PolicySF.org will help propagate innovative ideas, save city staff time for those who field inquiries.

February 24, 2010

Big City iPhone App Comes to Small-Town America

Citizen Request Tracker iPhone app means less waiting, more interaction with government.

February 22, 2010

Top Seven Things a New CIO Should Know

Lessons From the California CIO Academy.

February 19, 2010

Washington, D.C., Uses Regional Transportation Information System to Combine Data for Emergency, Traffic Response

East Coast emergency, transportation responders get 'big picture view' of weather, traffic information.

February 16, 2010

What Google Broadband Can Do for You

Cities vie to test Google's ultra-high-speed broadband.