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With Business Atlas, NYC Analytics Office Looks to 2014

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, January 2 2014

A recently released tool from the City of New York seeks to level the playing field for small businesses looking to learn more about economic conditions of neighborhoods and possible business locations. The NYC Business Atlas is a project from the NYC Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications, the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA), and the Departments of Small Business Services. Read More

Under Open Data Law, New York City Begins Herding Its Data

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, March 11 2013

New York City had until last Thursday to meet the first deadline set in its now year-old open data law by making data already published on nyc.gov available in machine-readable format, rather than in PDF format. According to a city press release, there are now over 1,000 data sets available on New York City's Open Data platform. The platform launched in October of 2011 with 750 data sets, 250 of which were new at the time. Since the law was signed in March of last year, New York City's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) has been working with agencies to add 350 new data sets to the platform and worked to add regularly updated feeds to existing data sets. Read More

Once Relics of a City's Past, Now in Plans for a Digital Future

BY Sam Roudman | Tuesday, February 5 2013

In the 1900s, these tunnels hauled freight under downtown Chicago. Will they carry fiber-optic cable next? Photo: Wikimedia

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus: As leading city governments across the country consider how to approach the Internet age, they're taking the concept of "adaptive reuse" to a new frontier by thinking of new ways to turn old standbys like payphones or disused rail tunnels into new pieces of digital infrastructure. Read More

City CIOs See Inspiration for Civic Hackers in New Federal Portal for City Data

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, August 3 2012

With the launch of a new U.S. City Data Portal housed online by the federal government, a group of the nation's largest city chief information officers are hoping that some day developers will take the records New York City keeps on restaurants and combine it with other cities' comparable data to create new applications that could be of use to both the public and people in government. Read More

In New York, Landmark Open Data Legislation Will Soon Be Up for a Vote

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, February 28 2012

The New York City Council is expected to vote on a far-reaching open data bill on Wednesday that would codify many of the principles articulated by open government advocates in recent years. If made law, the bill would go further than San Francisco's pioneering 2010 open data law in depth and scope, obliging agencies to provide data online in machine-readable format though a single, citywide portal. But perhaps in a nod to the amount of work involved in working through large volumes of existing data, city agencies won't have to make theirs available through the city's portal until the end of 2018. Read More

New York City Announces BigApps 3.0

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, October 12 2011

A $10,000 grand prize is now on offer for the third NYC BigApps competition, announced last night. Launched in 2009 as of the earliest contests challenging developers to build applications specifically for denizens of a ... Read More

Seeing the Snow for the Blizzard: Using Mobile for Government Oversight

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, January 11 2011

Over on his company blog, Mobile Commons*' Jed Alpert has a quick Q&A with the digital editor of WNYC's program The Takeaway, Jim Colgan, about a project the public radio station did to allow New Yorkers to document ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

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Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

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monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

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friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO

thursday >

In Pakistan, A Hypocritical Gov't Ignores Calls To End YouTube Ban

YouTube has been blocked in Pakistan by executive order since September 2012, after the “blasphemous” video Innocence of Muslims started riots in the Middle East. Since then, civil society organizations and Internet rights advocacy groups like Bolo Bhi and Bytes for All have been working to lift the ban. Last August the return of YouTube seemed imminent—the then-new IT Minister Anusha Rehman spoke optimistically and her party, which had won the majority a few months before, was said to be “seriously contemplating” ending the ban. And yet since then, Rehman and her party, the conservative Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), have done everything in their power to maintain the status quo.

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The #NotABugSplat Campaign Aims to Give Drone Operators Pause Before They Strike

In the #NotABugSplat campaign that launched this week, a group of American, French and Pakistani artists sought to raise awareness of the effects of drone strikes by placing a field-sized image of a young girl, orphaned when a drone strike killed her family, in a heavily targeted region of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Its giant size is visible to those who operate drone strikes as well as in satellite imagery. GO

Boston and Cambridge Move Towards More Open Data

The Boston City Council is now considering an ordinance which would require Boston city agencies and departments to make government data available online using open standards. Boston City Councilor At Large Michelle Wu, who introduced the legislation Wednesday, officially announced her proposal Monday, the same day Boston Mayor Martin Walsh issued an executive order establishing an open data policy under which all city departments are directed to publish appropriate data sets under established accessibility, API and format standards. GO

YouTube Still Blocked In Turkey, Even After Courts Rule It Violates Human Rights, Infringes on Free Speech

Reuters reports that even after a Turkish court ruled to lift the ban on YouTube, Turkey's telecommunications companies continue to block the video sharing site.

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wednesday >

Everything You Need to Know About Social Media and India's General Election

The biggest democratic election in the world to date is taking place in India from April 7 to May 14, and, for the first time in India, the results might hinge on who runs a better social media campaign. The Mumbai research firm Iris Knowledge Foundation has said that Facebook will “wield a tremendous influence” but Indian politicians are not limiting their attentions to India's most popular social media platform. In addition to virtual campaigning are initiatives to inform, educate and encourage Indians to participate in their democracy.

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