What’s New in Civic Tech: D.C. Picks GigabitDCx Semi-Finalists

Plus, digital campaign in NYC educates residents about reporting suspected child abuse, Chicago adds city budget to data portal for ninth year, and San Francisco rolls out new formats for accountability dashboards.

by / November 21, 2018
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Washington, D.C., has announced six semifinalists for its Gigabit DC Challenge (GigabitDCx), which is a public competition wherein participants submit proposals for gigabit app solutions to city challenges related to mobility and the environment.

This year’s competition attracted more than 100 innovators and 21 total submissions. Six have now been chosen to move on to phase two, which requires them to advance their initial concepts by building prototypes. On the line is a chance to receive up to $34,000 in award funding.

The newly chosen semi-finalists were announced this week via a press release from the city. More details on each can be found below:

  • A mobile app called How's My Driving D.C.? from Mark Sussman and Daniel Schep, crowdsources data on drivers that continually put others at risk. (Washington, D.C.)
  • The Transportation Team at George Washington University came up with Road Vision, Keeping an Eye on Traffic, an app that interprets traffic feeds, converting them to usable mobility and safety data. (Washington, D.C.)
  • A patient navigator app from Kenneth Walton called Corner BOI (Curbside Public Health) empowers patients with the necessary knowledge to make more informed decisions about their health care. (Washington, D.C.)
  • Dorin Munteanu and Radu Motisan created uRADMonitor, which collects and stores information on urban air quality. (Washington, D.C.)
  • A team from Dynamhex inluding Sunny Sanwar developed a tool that uses data visualizations and maching learning to help adance the goals of the D.C. Climate and Energy Action Plan. (Kansas)
  • An underwater, wireless sensory network from Andrew Kamal uses a noiseless signal to collect information on waterways. (Michigan)

A demonstration of the prototypes by the semi-finalists is now slated for Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. More information about GigabitDCx can be found here.

NYC Digital Campaign Aims to Educate Residents on Reporting Suspected Child Abuse During Holidays

This holiday season, New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services is running a digital campaign aimed at educating residents about how to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect.

The campaign was announced at a press conference days before Thanksgiving by that agency’s commissioner, David A. Hansell, and it has a fairly heavy social media component. In fact, in an accompanying press release, Hansell noted that the planned digital campaign will be seen more than 10 million times on the social media feeds of New Yorkers, continuing on through Thanksgiving and well into December, when “many adults, like extended family members, neighbors and friends, may come in contact with children during holiday festivities.”

The campaign is slated to use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other social media platforms to get out its messaging, which will be bilingual. The general idea is to let people know they can report suspected neglect or abuse to 911 or 311, as well as to the New York State Central Register at 1.800.342.3720.

Chicago Adds City Budget to Data Portal for Ninth Consecutive Year

Releasing a wide array of open data about city operations to the public remains fairly common in Chicago as the city added its city budget to its data portal for the ninth consecutive year, doing so just days after it was approved. The two main data sets are positions and salaries, and appropriations. They are also broken down into a list of smaller subsets that include things such as financing, housing, health, elections, and more.

Interested parties can visit Chicago’s open data portal online.

San Francisco Rolls Out New Formats for Accountability Dashboards

San Francisco’s latest citywide performance report is now live, and to help citizens keep better track of it, the city has now rolled out new formats for their accountability dashboards that are automated by Data SF.

These scorecards use open data to convey updated statistics about how city agencies are doing in areas that range from 911 response times to the county jail population, conveying the facts and using a color-coded system to simply express progress. Metrics in which the city is performing well, for example, are colored green, while those in which it’s not doing all that well are red.

Scorecards are broken down into eight categories — livability, public health, safety net, public safety, transportation, environment, economy and finance — and they can all be found here

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Zack Quaintance Assistant News Editor

Zack Quaintance is the assistant news editor for Government Technology. His background includes writing for daily newspapers across the country and developing content for a software company in Austin, Texas. He is now based in Washington, D.C. He can be reached via email.