Civic Tech Roundup: January 11, 2017

Seattle happenings

  • GovTech published a new piece summarizing the City’s snow “hackathon” on December 15th. As the City makes any updates to snow preparedness on the technology front, we will keep you posted here.

 

National news

  • Uber teased a new website, Movement, that visualizes its traffic data for ease of exploration by transportation professionals, urban planners, and the general public. (TechCrunch)
  • The White House published a report called “Try This at Home” that shares its best practices from the last 8 years of government innovation, for possible implementation at the state and local level. (White House)
  • The City of Long Beach just released 100 new spatial datasets on a new, location-centric open data portal, DataLB. The portal offers a number of easy-to-explore maps and other contextual information. (RouteFifty)

 

New tools

  • The “Party of Lincoln” app is getting a lot of attention this week, though it was released in September. It claims to be a non-partisan resource guide that facilitates voter registration, changes to party affiliation, and a resource for information on candidates and measures. It joins a growing collection of applications designed to facilitate engagement with the political process.
  • D-CENT describes itself as “a Europe-wide project creating open, secure and privacy-aware tools for direct democracy and economic empowerment.” Tools in use include a participatory budgeting platform in Reykjavik, a notification platform in Helsinki, and policy development platforms in Barcelona and Madrid, as well as electronic voting and other cutting-edge ideas. The project is a partnership of a number of European organizations, including UK innovation foundation Nesta and the Open Knowledge Foundation.

 

Must-reads

  • Vicki Sellick, Director of the Innovation Lab at Nesta, wrote that volunteering from home is about to become as common as working from home. Technology is opening opportunities for volunteerism, both for technology builders (such Red Cross volunteers mapping the Ebola crisis from oceans away) and for casual users (such as peer-to-peer support networks and tutoring via the web or SMS). She also notes the ways people can “donate” data for good causes, linking to a number of existing and upcoming opportunities. (Nesta)
  • Fast Company interviewed Ariel Kennan, a designer at the City of New York, for its “Designing Women” series. Kennan, an alum of the Code for America Fellowship program, works in the City’s Center for Economic Opportunity. She has worked on projects like the City’s new street homelessness initiative, HOME-STAT, as well as deeper efforts to build design capacity across the City. (Fast Company)
  • GovTech released a “Year in Tech” review, spotlighting open data, civic engagement, expansion of tech in state and local governments, and big moves in the industry. It’s a quick roundup of all the major events of the year and a window into emerging trends. (GovTech)

 

Upcoming events

Community events with a civic tech component:

  • Wednesday, January 25, 10:00-11:30 am @ Impact Hub Seattle: “Community Cross-Pollinators: Technology + Social Impact.” Free. (RSVP)

 

If you’d like to suggest events or content, please email us at civic.tech@seattle.gov.