Zack Quaintance is a staff writer for Government Technology. Prior to that, he spent five years working in daily newspapers, and another five years working in the tech sector. He lives in Northern California.
In addition to publishing entirely new and conversational content, the city’s Web presence now includes access to dozens of municipal services that were not previously online.
Plus, New York City updates its “Ready NYC” mobile app that encourages users to make disaster plans; Nashville launches NashView community data map; and what’s happening for Open Data Day 2018?
The OpenGov Foundation has conducted human-centered research to identify pain points in communications between constituents and congressional representatives, and is using tech to make sure voicemails matter.
Former and current gov tech leaders say talking about successful projects is key to advancing innovation work.
Plus, 10 city leaders launch “Mayors for Smart on Crime” initiative, 18F warns public agencies against building native mobile apps and Detroit seeks to hire a director of emerging technology.
The open data advocacy group is now tracking which cities open information about emergency calls, employee salaries, police use of force and traffic crashes.
Plus, New Jersey joins multistate coalition suing FCC over its net neutrality rollback; Code for America launches an apprenticeship program; San Francisco looks to hire eight for its digital services team; Oakland, Calif., launches a civic design lab; and Indiana updates its Alexa skill to include travel advisories.
Seattle’s citywide privacy program is often recognized as a current leading effort among municipal governments to guard collected data, but the city isn’t content to stop there.
Los Angeles recently become the lone recipient of What Works Cities’ Gold Certification, ostensibly making it the American city most adept at using data to improve its residents’ lives.
Plus, San Francisco announces Internet as a utility effort; New York City announces three finalists for its NYCx Governors Island Connectivity Challenge; Louisville, Ky., applies for a pilot program to use drones in response to shootings; and Memphis, Tenn., launches an open data portal.
The state, which once had the longest health and human services applications in the nation, has cut the size of paper copies by 80 percent and is now working with Code for America to do the same online.
Seattle’s chief privacy officer covers universal rules, prevention tips and other best practices residents should know to keep personal info safe online.
While working on a new city website, technologists within city hall have their sights set on the bigger goal of making all that the municipal government does easier to find and simpler to understand for constituents.
Four local governments have partnered with the Center for Technology in Government to develop a platform that will share data and stem the rising tide of blighted buildings.
Mattmiller’s last day will be Feb. 2, and IT Chief of Staff Tracye Cantrell will serve as his replacement while the city conducts a national search.
Plus, Bloomberg’s What Works Cities program achieves 100-city milestone; CivTech St. Louis expands YourSTLCourts to include all of St. Louis city; NASA tool allows users to estimate population size for any area; and CincyInsights lets users check out past winter storms.
Deputy CIO Mark Wheeler will serve as the interim replacement as city conducts a national search for his permanent successor.
The nonprofit group, which helps a coalition of mayors leverage the skills, knowledge and creativity of citizens in order to improve local government, is more involved in tech projects than ever before.
Plus, San Jose PD puts use-of-force data online; San Antonio seeks tech participants for its new CivTechSA program; NYU Tandon and NYC Cyber Command launch a new cybersecurity master’s program; and Outreach Grid launches free tools for cities.
Little Rock's performance and innovation coordinator, Melissa Bridges, talked to GT about using data to improve internal efficiency and increase citizen engagement.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg and his staff have formed a partnership with the University of Notre Dame that has made South Bend a magnet for talent and new businesses.
Plus, deadline to apply for Cities of Service Engaged Cities Award approaches; Tucson Police Department looks to create data-heavy crime analyst superintendent position; and Cook County launches a new map hub and county clerk website.
The former governor of Maryland and mayor of Baltimore says major cities will lead American government into the future, with sensors and predictive analytics that allow for unprecedented service and accountability.
City officials, law professors and corporate privacy directors discuss the tension between open data work and privacy at the second day of the MetroLab Annual Summit in Atlanta, citing smart cities tech as an increasingly relevant part of the discussion.
At day two of the MetroLab Annual Summit, Reed said mayors must work with collaborators to create tech-friendly cities that appeal to businesses and residents.
Plus, Atlanta throws a smart city coming-of-age party; Palo Alto, Calif., explores using drones to bring blood samples to hospitals; and a new project builds on Cincinnati’s opioid data work to predict heroin overdose risk.
Mixed panel of vendors and municipal technologists discuss problems with procurement, potential fixes and what everyone stands to gain from getting it right.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Harvard's Stephen Goldsmith shared their insights and experiences at the MetroLab Network Summit in Atlanta on Dec. 13.
The city’s chief innovation and analytics officer is optimistic that joining STiR’s inaugural national class will facilitate cooperation between local government and the thriving startup ecosystem in Colorado.
Plus, Philadelphia’s fire department looks to hire a senior lead GIS analyst to create an analytics team; Facebook civic hackathon participants share winning ideas with Seattle; Platteville, Colo., adopts use of nonprofit’s video archive software; and Minnesota IT launches new employee intranet.
To make innovation thinking more accessible and commonplace across departments, the city has deployed analog and internal hackathons along with a badges system inspired by the Girl Scouts.
Advocates seek to enhance digital skills in the community by giving young people opportunities to use tech in service of art, using their passion and the city’s rich artistic fiber to help bridge the digital divide.
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s donation will help the group design a re-imagined integrated benefit enrollment service that will soon be piloted in select states.
As municipal governments in New York City, Seattle and elsewhere vocally oppose a repeal, leaders also say they are preparing resources to monitor its impact once it happens.
Smart city projects in Atlanta, Chicago and Kansas City, Mo., were early efforts at the Internet of Things, analytics and other connected tech. Here's what they're up to today.
Plus, the Sunlight Foundation is changing its U.S. City Open Data Census, the Sacramento Urban Technology Lab aims to accelerate civic innovation, Syracuse, N.Y., creates a data-driven pilot program to enhance code enforcement and Boulder, Colo., becomes the latest city to launch an accountability dashboard.
The project aspires to give city governments a resource for identifying suitable data standards based on popularity, reliability and other criteria.
City leaders say they have seen an increase in businesses interested in relocating to Louisville in the weeks following the service's launch.
Plus, Connecticut’s chief data officer ponders value of network for state CDOs, Philadelphia releases police complaints data set, Code for America adds Sacramento to list of counties eligible for its food assistance app, and newly launched 500 Cities Data Challenge asks for cross-sector project ideas.
People with hearing and sight disabilities using screen readers and other assistive tech must be able to access content on government websites, but getting and staying compliant is a challenge.
Plus, NYC Economic Development Corporation RFP aims to create city’s first cybersecurity accelerator; Startup in Residence Program unveils civic challenges for first nationwide cohort; Harvard’s Ash Center restructures flagship award program; CincyStat collaborates with local police on interactive crime dashboard; and Philadelphia picks internal departments for its new customer-centric design lab.
The San Francisco-born program now includes Boulder, Colo., Houston and Washington, D.C, among others. A fresh set of challenges to lure startups to participate will go live Nov. 15.
The city's new public-facing digital efforts were made possible by relationships developed through the San Francisco-based Startup in Residence Program.
The United Kingdom's Behavioural Insights Team is helping U.S. municipalities improve outcomes by fostering initiatives centered around real human behaviors rather than long-held presumptions.
Plus, Illinois announces move to new data management platform, civic tech group creates new source for California elections data and the USDA invests $16 million in South Dakota's rural broadband infrastructure.
Packed rooms listen as chief data officers and others working with municipal analytics describe the strides local governments have made toward better serving communities through predictive analytics, data visualizations and other work.
Government data experts come to Harvard University for training and workshop sessions about how to best leverage data in order to transform city services in a wide range of areas, including public safety, mobility, inspections and more.
For first time, state technologists have asked the Legislature to include specific funding for cybersecurity in the budget.
States at the forefront of developing a unified, customer-centric digital government experience share some of their top insights.
The system takes a description of the user’s issue and suggests the case types that are most likely to fit the description.
A recent increase in public desire to strengthen democracy has not yet translated into more funding for civic tech, but the authors of a new report see it as a reason for hope.
Code4PA features statewide data sets, collaboration and reach.
New effort is bringing together government innovators from across the nation to visualize the opioid crisis and share best practices.
Plus, PayNearMe helps NYC residents pay parking tickets with cash, OpenDataSoft and Amazon partner on free data portal for 500 mid-sized cities, Newark, N.J., works with private partners to launch a gigabit wireless Internet connection, and Sunnyvale, Calif., taps archiving platform to bolster digital transparency.
Through the Startup in Residence Program, city workers collaborated with developers to create Outreach Grid, a program designed to improve municipal efforts to address homelessness.
Speakers at the Data Coalition’s annual Data Demo Day say tech improvements and culture changes are coming, but much room for progress remains.
Plus, Chicago launches redesigned website aimed at being more accessible, NYC Launches New Muni Tech Program and Facebook hackathon uses Seattle’s vast open data for civic tech projects.
Weekend event brings together technologists, public servants, journalists, and newly paroled members of the community, among others.
Chief Information Officer Tony Young talks about how recent breaches impact the state’s data privacy strategy.
Plus, Nashville launches one-stop website to better serve residents, encouraging tech growth in Detroit is an ongoing project, and technologists in Anchorage work with city’s treasury department to improve fine collection process.
Organizers hope to improve digital information sharing and other transparency efforts throughout the state government.
After recent storms delayed National Day of Civic Hacking Events in Florida and Georgia, local Code for America brigades are using the response to the disasters as a case study to focus their projects.
The former FedEx IT pro will be focusing on making the city’s wealth of data more accessible to citizens as well as hiring a chief data officer to maintain the momentum.
Plus, Code for America searches for data engineer to work on its flagship effort, San Jose’s smart city lead says city’s broadband ‘significantly lags’ behind U.S. peers, and GeorgiaGov Interactive becomes Digital Services Georgia.
Increased public concern has raised interest in the month-long slate of events meant to promote the importance of safeguarding digital information.
As new breaches are reported with increasing regularity, we look at how they impact state and local government.
This year’s class of Startup in Residence entrepreneurs is the last to work exclusively with Northern California cities as the program prepares to expand nationwide in 2018.
Plus, disaster relief is the dominant focus of TechCrunch's Disrupt SF 2017, Indiana taps Amazon Alexa to enhance state government, and five new participants join Bloomberg’s What Works Cities initiative.
Cockrill will leave state service on Oct. 20 for a position with the Altius Institute for Biomedical Sciences, a nonprofit research group.
Uses range from giving advice on driver’s license exams to traffic updates, as the list of municipal government skill sets available on the platform continues to expand.
The move will enable residents and others interested in the city to access streaming municipal content on demand.
From Portland, Maine, to Sacramento, Calif., the fifth year of the nationwide event sees more organizers looking to include participants who aren’t traditionally thought of as civic technologists.
Plus, Sunlight Foundation releases A Guide to Tactical Data, NYC Planning Labs launches its first project and tech continues to prove useful in the aftermath of major hurricanes.
The Brookings Institution has mapped broadband availability and subscription rates at the neighborhood level. The digital resource highlights the need for better connectivity across the United States.
City officials will work with the Age-Friendly Seattle Initiative to create a hackathon with a specific focus for technologists to address.
Plus, Next Century Cities releases best practices for leveraging civic engagement with tech; Louisville, Ky., continues to embrace Amazon’s Alexa by offering mayoral podcast through the platform; and Baltimore Innovation Team’s First Assignment is Police Recruitment.
Supporters say nonprofit identification system would increase transparency and make government more efficient in several areas, including procurement practices.
A coalition of CIOs and CTOs from New York, San Francisco, Austin and Seattle presented a letter supporting net neutrality rules currently under consideration for rollback.
Plus, Grand Rapids, Mich., shares wide-spanning tech progress update, and Baton Rouge, La., Launches GiS Web map to monitor heavy rainfall.
A growing number of stakeholders are participating in a new concept aimed at sharing solutions to common governmental challenges.
Data possess a number of useful functions for non-profit and government groups, from determining where to deploy anti-mosquito measures to helping assess how many people still need aid.
New platform features more than 70 data sets, integrated city planning goals and a capacity for expansion.
We look at a few companies working to help government get better at purchasing.
Plus, Philadelphia becomes first U.S. city to map urban trails via Google Street View, Code for America developer emphasizes importance of design for the public good, and Uber begins sharing some transportation data with cities.
Future efforts may involve predictive analytics as city contemplates the future of putting public information to work for a better quality of life.
Plus, Louisville, Ky., hosts its first internal hackathon, Peoria, Ill., hosts its first ever hackathon period, and 30 jurisdictions join a nonprofit aimed at increasing connectivity rates inside HUD housing.
Platform condenses 472-page plan into simple progress metrics that cover all of the goals within Boston’s first citywide project in 50 years.
Judges announce list of 11 finalists as Aug. 31 end-date approaches.
Plus, Arkansas' governor announces actions aimed at fostering tech employment growth in state, and judge dismisses AT&T lawsuit against Louisville related to clearing city infrastructure for broadband providers.
The city aims to share its extensive cyberdefense efforts with businesses throughout the region.
Now in its 20th year, the city's Technology Matching Fund will receive $430,000 this year.
The beyond.uptake program pairs service-oriented data scientists with industry experts for a six-month course of learning.
Plus, San Leandro, Calif., STiR participants seek residents to test tech, Massachusetts’ comptroller expands transparency and open finances efforts, and Cincinnati launches a series of new dashboards.
Increasingly diverse group of public agencies are deploying automated chat platforms to assist users online.
Plus, Congress seeks to establish basic IoT security standards, and Boston introduces Snapchat filters to show off city landmarks.
The new system is rife with enhancements that also include fully automated processing procedures, among other things.
If the program continues its successes, it could change how startups and government work together, leading to an increase in civic innovations. All interested cities must RSVP before Aug. 4 to be eligible to apply.
Plus, Bloomberg Cities offers 10 tips for innovators, Syracuse launches city’s first open data portal, and Boston’s City Hall lobby renovation features self-service kiosks.
Potential benefits for the city include reduced traffic fatalities, increased walkability and more efficient use of services.
The map visualizes instances of systematic oppression through history, drawing correlations between neighborhoods that lack digital equity.
Teams of high school students develop tech-based solutions for city government problems with help from local tech companies.
Plus, Code for America brings Californians human-centered access to food assistance, 18F and the FBI build Crime Data Explorer, and Austin, Texas, donates used government computers to underserved residents.
The first-place winners in this year's survey don't deploy technology for technology's sake.
Plus, Chattanooga joins Kansas City in adopting a Facebook chatbot, DARPA invests $65 million in developing two-way brain-computer interface, and NYC launches a pair of tech initiatives in Brownsville.
Now in its second year, the Hawaii Annual Code Challenge looks to build upon 2016's success.
Plus, Georgia lays out online content strategy advice for state agencies, Pittsburgh debuts online database of for-sale city properties, and Naperville, Ill., launches new open data portal with police incidents and other info.
The model creates simple conditional statements called applets, which the city is using to create warnings about poor air quality and other emergencies.
PlaceSpeak, a location-based civic engagement tool, is designed to prevent interference from bots and trolls that have plagued online discourse as of late.
Plus, Atlanta CIO to deliver keynote about strategic partnerships in innovation, Kansas City launches open data Facebook chatbot and a new handbook details mayors’ roles in the rise of innovation districts.
Civic innovators find diverse applications for using technology to care for street trees.
Plus, Boston adds broadband access to its development review process, What Works Cities releases report about tangible ways local governments are changing lives, and the Illinois Department of Agriculture uses tech to improve service.
The city has issued an RFP for its Next Generation 911 project, while installing interim text-to-911 capabilities slated to go live in early 2018.
Plus, 12 cities join Chicago's effort to preserve deleted federal climate change research data, Seattle's open data portal gets a new look, and the FCC weighs whether to strip local governments of siting authority as 5G tech becomes more common.
Transparency advocates hope tech-based collaborations will become a permanent part of the lawmaking process.
The tech platform used is not only comprehensive, it’s also ideally suited for use in the field.
The chief digital officer in Gilbert, Ariz., is using digital media savvy to communicate with citizens and show the world what the community has to offer.
The county tagged at 526 individuals in January, up from 420 at the same time last year. The difference, officials say, was likely not as much in the actual population as it was in the technique used to collect data.
Plus, Chicago expands beach data in time for summer, LA maps its marijuana dispensaries, and Alaska's data goes to the dogs.
Plus, Boston mayor hosts city’s first innovation courtyard festival, and NYC Civic Hall adds a new managing director.
These efforts increasingly fuel hopes that private-sector expertise can truly impact government.
From Austin to Kansas City, an increasing number of governmental agencies are incorporating digital inclusion into their services.
The center seeks to provide a comfortable coffee shop experience for the Russell neighborhood, where residents often lack access to high-speed Internet.
Plus, Portland, Ore., leaders sign an open data ordinance and the FEC launches a new website.
DollarVan, OnBoard, nesterly and PASSNYC capture various prizes during the eighth year of the innovation competition.
New site stands to make process easier for both applicants and state workers reviewing applications.
Plus, Louisville plans to expand fiber network, and Missouri centralizes flood relief efforts online.
Visualization shows poverty rates along with available Internet speeds.
Local governments are taking an increasingly active role in providing equitable tech opportunities to all citizens.
Plus, Chicago posts removed federal climate change data online, and Austin hosts competition for app builders with $38K of prize money.
The new platform being used is modeled after Ohio's recent budget transparency work.
Often the people digital equity programs were designed to help assumed the initiatives were for someone else. So officials reached out to underrepresented populations and spread awareness that they, too, deserve a place in tech.
Plus, San Francisco's STiR director leaves for NYC, and Chicago's new open data portal keeps user-friendliness front and center.
After 42 years, officials are turning to tech-based solutions to address the city's noise element update. They are also hopeful the approach will bring new voices to the local conversation.
Advocates voice support for legislation in New York state to combat the distracted driving epidemic.
Plus, San Francisco looks to hire project manager for voting system overhaul, Hawaii launches new geospatial data portal and Indianapolis County emphasizes commitment to better digital services.
Seventy-nine percent of those polled in a recent survey are worried about the security of their personal digital data.
Plus, San Francisco enhances its Crime Data Portal, and Colorado Statewide Internet Portal Authority prepares to distribute 22 micro-grants.
Tony Neal-Graves talks about his plans for the state's broadband office and how he spent the first three weeks on the job.
Innovation Consulting program joins the city's Innovation Academy, Innovation Lab and Innovation Fund initiatives to encourage new ideas for civic tech.
Plus, a pair of reintroduced bills seek to bolster federal open data and transparency, and Baltimore puts its building permit application process online.
Plus, Philadelphia renames annual civic tech event to broaden engagement, and Boston makes its new open data portal official.
A data-driven approach can serve as an efficient and expedited starting point for agencies to identify and investigate fraud.
Plus, Democracy Works increases efforts to connect voters with election info, and Syracuse partners with Code for America to launch new info portal for businesses.
The Netherlands and Australia created common guidelines to report government financial regulation compliance to save on costs — and U.S. governments could benefit by doing the same.
Sacramento’s active efforts to streamline installation of 5G networks was likely part of the reason Verizon choose the city for its pilot.
Plus, a new initiative commits to powering 100 million connections between politicians and constituents.
The GSA's Office of Inspector General found that 18F disregarded several security rules and other governmental procedures, but the states it has recently contracted with say they're not concerned about similar issues.
Directly involving users with the creation of better digital services is fostering an atmosphere of customer service.
Boston's chief data officer talks about the second iteration of city's open data platform.
Now that Code for America has so much company in the civic tech space, the group is calling upon those who have voiced interest to get to work with them.
Also, the Defense Department launches an open source initiative, and Los Angeles creates a dashboard to visualize homeless shelter demand.
Wheaton, Ill. becomes first city in state with an open data portal for its park district; Seattle Public Library releases data about checkouts.
A UK-based company is bringing added accuracy to tickets issued in Winter Park, Fla.
Plus, Kansas City, Mo., and Fargo, N.D., both make significant strides in open data and civic tech.
Civic technologists say copyrights for technical standards incorporated into law create unfair barriers between the public and regulations.
Plus, DataRescue SF Bay event strives to preserve publicly accessible data resources from the federal government.
Burgh's Eye View analysts and developers will conduct meetings about their work in 14 neighborhoods, hoping for ideas to enhance the platform.
Plans include expanding to Florida and Texas by early 2018.
Plus, Marin County, Calif's new data portal seeks to fix challenges by improving open data.
The city is currently testing an alpha version of the website, preparing for a larger overhaul of its municipal online presence.
City leaders want private companies to collaborate with the public sector as part of another effort to provide Internet access to all citizens.
Plus, a philanthropic foundation plans to help continue the Obama administration’s Data-Driven Justice Initiative.
Will government tech advancements progress under President Donald Trump? Few answers, many questions.