Civic Commons

Sharing technology for the public good

"Shareabouts is a mapping app for crowd sourcing, taking our recent work on the NYCDOT bike share map in a new direction. Shareabouts will have a simple, fun interface that makes it easy to add your voice to the map: suggest a location, add a comment, support other suggestions and share locations with your friends and neighbors. Shareabouts gets out of the way, letting you focus on getting points on the map. Behind the scenes, it’s a Rails app running on PostGIS spatial database, with a nice mapping front end. And behind all that, the real powerhouse of Julia and Andy.
We have some core design concepts in mind for Shareabouts:
Mobile is important, especially in lower-income and under-represented communities. Shareabouts needs to have a terrific experience on a mobile device. 
Your crowdsourced mapping website should look great, tweaked just how you like it. Skinnability matters. 
Open311 standards will be in Shareabouts’ DNA, so you can use it as a front-end for all sorts of civic apps. 
Translations should be easy. Shareabouts will be a good fit, whether you want to say “Suggest a bike rack location” or “共有自転車置場がどこにあったらいいかな” . 
Like many projects in their early days, there’s not much to look at yet. But as you know if you’re a follower of the open source way, being completely open from day zero is the Right Approach. We’re just getting going on something that we hope will be a pretty exciting project, and we want you on board from the very start of the journey. Here’s a list of ways you can get involved.
Most importantly, what do you want Shareabouts to do? Tell us! Check out the pipeline of work we’ve got planned, and join our developer mailing list. Please kick the tires on our dev server, and dig into the project on Github. And stay tuned…”
(via Hello, Shareabouts | OpenPlans)

"Shareabouts is a mapping app for crowd sourcing, taking our recent work on the NYCDOT bike share map in a new direction. Shareabouts will have a simple, fun interface that makes it easy to add your voice to the map: suggest a location, add a comment, support other suggestions and share locations with your friends and neighbors. Shareabouts gets out of the way, letting you focus on getting points on the map. Behind the scenes, it’s a Rails app running on PostGIS spatial database, with a nice mapping front end. And behind all that, the real powerhouse of Julia and Andy.

We have some core design concepts in mind for Shareabouts:

  • Mobile is important, especially in lower-income and under-represented communities. Shareabouts needs to have a terrific experience on a mobile device. 
  • Your crowdsourced mapping website should look great, tweaked just how you like it. Skinnability matters. 
  • Open311 standards will be in Shareabouts’ DNA, so you can use it as a front-end for all sorts of civic apps. 
  • Translations should be easy. Shareabouts will be a good fit, whether you want to say “Suggest a bike rack location” or “共有自転車置場がどこにあったらいいかな” . 

Like many projects in their early days, there’s not much to look at yet. But as you know if you’re a follower of the open source way, being completely open from day zero is the Right Approach. We’re just getting going on something that we hope will be a pretty exciting project, and we want you on board from the very start of the journey. Here’s a list of ways you can get involved.

Most importantly, what do you want Shareabouts to do? Tell us! Check out the pipeline of work we’ve got planned, and join our developer mailing list. Please kick the tires on our dev server, and dig into the project on Github. And stay tuned…”

(via Hello, Shareabouts | OpenPlans)

"In a post this morning at the WhiteHouse.gov blog, federal CIO Steven VanRoekel (@StevenVDC) and federal CTO Aneesh Chopra (@AneeshChopra) explained more about how Data.gov is going global:
“As part of a joint effort by the United States and India to build an open government platform, the U.S. team has deposited open source code — an important benchmark in developing the Open Government Platform that will enable governments around the world to stand up their own open government data sites.”
The development is evidence that the U.S. and India are indeed still collaborating on open government together, despite India’s withdrawal from the historic Open Government Partnership (OGP) that launched in September. Chopra and VanRoekel explicitly connected the move to open source Data.gov to the U.S. involvement in the Open Government Partnership today. While we’ll need to see more code and adoption to draw substantive conclusions on the outcomes of this part of the plan, this is clearly progress."
"The idea behind open innovation is as simple as it is powerful: the creators of new ideas don’t have to be within your organization in order to be helpful"
— John Palfrey, from Intellectual Property Strategy (http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=12603)

Palfrey’s new book is a great primer on intellectual property, written to be relevant to leaders of any type of organization.  It focuses on the practical organizational opportunities around intellectual property assets, and encourages a broader view than the traditional “sword and shield” approach.  Great, short read.

bijan sabet: Connecting local voices

bijan:

I live in a sleepy little town outside of Boston. I’m pretty sure that most folks in our town don’t quite understand how the board of selectmen work and function. I know there have been been things proposed that impact the lives of the elderly, education, home ownership, land development, security, transportation, communication issues that have enormous impact — but with little voter turnout or awareness. 

We need our connected web and the mobile web to change this and turn it around. The opportunity is simply too massive. 

In previous times, the national and global conversation was controlled by powerful gatekeepers. Now we know we can break through.

The same thing has to happen at a hyperlocal level. Members of each community have a voice and have real connective tissue to each other. Sometimes I feel more connected globally than the things happening down the street. That’s not right. 

You can see things happening when efforts become organized. Just look at the private/public efforts in NYC with things like the High Line. Or things like Neighborland that allows members of the community have a voice in urban planning. Or SeeClickFix which feels like the GetSatisfaction of towns and cities. 

It’s an exciting start.

We need more things that are bottoms up and less about coddling the status quo.

Local issues are critical and we need more ways to go from simply caring to real action.

Hear hear.

"I can envision a system not dissimilar to the way things work here at Gun.io. Instead of awarding a lump-sum contract to a single corporation who claim they can build a system without ever even having to prove their competency, the government could have open contracts for the smallest possible components and award them to the first groups or individuals who can fulfill the requirements. This would reward talent and speed rather than nepotism and waste. Certainly, there is also room for a startup in this space to connect the open government contracts with smaller, independent software development studios. This would reroute government funds away from foreign-owned corporations towards American small business, which is exactly where America needs to grow."
"And Maritz wants to do so without hooking developers to a particular software or hardware vendor, including VMware. “One of the potential bad things about this move to the cloud is that you might go back to how things were with mainframes in the ’60s and ’70s, where you had these very proprietary environments. Once you checked into the IBM universe, you could never check out again. Are we going to go back to that world with the Google cloud and the Microsoft cloud?” Maritz says. “If you’re a developer, you need a set of services that can make your life easy, but that don’t bind you forever and a day to the stack of one vendor.”"

Man Survives Steve Ballmer’s Flying Chair To Build ’21st Century Linux’ | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com

Wired article covering VMware’s new Cloud Foundry product — platform as a service that supports a wide variety of technologies, and is open source in its own right.

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