Google Fiber Coming to NC

Google Fiber Coming to NC

Cary, NC – Google announced on January 27, 2015 that Google fiber is coming to the RTP region and Charlotte. These are 2 of the 4 regions that Google has selected to expand their Gigabit Internet service.

In the RTP area the following towns/cities will be participating:

Recent studies have shown that availability of Gigabit Internet infrastructure has a huge impact on regional economic development and property values. Be patient as it will take a year or 2 but the results will be remarkable.

Google Gets Lots of Press!

Our apologies to those news outlets that are not mentioned.

Hortonworks launches in Durham

Hortonworks launches in Durham

Durham, NC – Over the past few weeks, Hortonworks has quietly moved into Durham’s Bull City Coworking and is rapidly ramping up their operations. With a growing user base and $248 million in outside investment, Hortonworks is a leading commercial vendor of Apache Hadoop, the preeminent open source platform for storing, managing and analyzing big data.

Hortonworks is deeply engaged with Hadoop’s open source ecosystem, and the move to launch East Coast operations in the region is a sign that the Triangle’s reputation as a nexus of open source technical talent continues to grow.

I recently sat down for a coffee at Parker & Otis with Barry Duplantis, Hortonworks new Vice President of Customer Success to discuss his move to Hortonworks and the decision to launch operations in the Triangle.

The Triangle is the Right Place

In looking to place an Eastern US operation, Hortonworks looked at Austin, Boston and all the usual tech hubs. When they brought on local tech veteran, Barry Duplantis, signs started pointing to the Triangle as the next logical step. Duplantis’ familiarity and connections with the rich talent pool of open source talent in the region cemented Hortonworks decision to locate here.

Over the past few weeks, Hortonworks has been quietly hiring. Attending the local Hadoop Users Group meetings (TriHUG) and passing the word through the Open Source community has already allowed Hortonworks to expand well beyond their original target of 6 employees.

Duplantis’ team has now filled 16 out of 25 positions projected for their short term needs. Impressed with the caliber of talent that the Triangle team is bringing to the organization, Hortonworks is expanding the Triangle location scope to include positions in support, legal, IT and sales.

Triangle Ecosystem Support

A long-time resident of the Triangle, Duplantis has worked at Red Hat, Opsware and most recently for Eucalyptus Systems. Eucalyptus had a team based at Bull City Coworking for over two years, where Barry and his colleagues worked alongside engineers from open source stalwarts like Mozilla, Canonical, Opscode/Chef, Jackson River and several others.

Duplantis says that Hortonworks will fit into the Triangle Open Source ecosystem well since they work with everyone on a partnership basis rather than being competitive. In addition, the local Hortonworks team plans to support the open source developer community, starting with their involvement with the TriHUG meetup group.

Great Potential

Hortonworks is the most interesting company that I have been involved with since my days at Red Hat.

There is great potential for Hortonworks in the Triangle. An East Coast presence brings Hortonworks closer to their regional customers and partners, the big data field is “an incredible growth area” and Barry knows he will be able to find the talent that Hortonworks needs here in the Triangle.

Related Reading


Picture from Flickr by James Willamor

Data Innovation Day 2014 Logo

Data Innovation Day

Cary, NC – Thursday, January 23, 2014 is Data Innovation Day.

What is Data Innovation Day

The purpose of Data Innovation Day is to raise awareness about the benefits and opportunities that come from increased use of information by individuals and the public and private sector.

Data Innovation Activities

There are many different efforts in North Carolina and nationally that deal with Data Innovation. Since it is Data Innovation Day, take a short break to learn about some of these activities and maybe also get involved.

  • The Center for Data Innovation in celebrating Data Innovation Day with a conference in Washington, DC.
  • The Open Data movement is active looking to liberate Government Data into machine readable easily accessible data that citizens and entrepreneurs can make us of. Raleigh is leading the state in their Open Data activities. Read more – Crowdsourcing Open Raleigh
  • Code for America is very active in North Carolina with a Fellowship City in Charlotte and 5 active Brigades. Code for America actively promotes Open Data and Open Source for programs and apps that will help municipalities and citizens. Read more – Code for America in NC

If you want an interactive program for Data Innovation, register now for Triangle Open Data Day! Triangle Open Data Day will be held in Raleigh from Saturday, February 22 to Sunday February 23, 2014.

What programs do you think show innovation in data?


Technology Tank is a partner in Data Innovation Day.

Civic Tech Image from Knight Foundation Report

Trends in Civic Tech

The Knight Foundation has just published an analysis of Civic Tech; The Emergence of Civic Tech: Investments in a Growing Field. The full report can be found on Slideshare.

Over the past few years, the Knight Foundation has seen a ‘groundswell of interest at the nexus of technology, civic innovation, open government and resident engagement’. The analysis identifies clusters of innovation and investment in the Civic Tech area. The Knight Foundation partnered with Quid, a company that specializes in data analytics and network analysis. This analysis is the first of its kind and the Knight Foundation admits that the report is not exhaustive.
The above figure is from page 6 of the report.  Titled Civic Tech: A Convergence of Fields, it illustrates the several Tech fields that are covered in the analysis.  Only those companies and projects that promote civic outcomes were used as the basis for the analysis.

The report is a summary of quite a lot of information. The detailed information used to develop the visualizations and analysis  is available on the Knight Foundation Website for those who wish to do their own analysis.

What follows is the Innovation Clusters that were developed in the course of the analysis and several of the findings that I found interesting from the report.   If you get a chance to study the report, let us and/or the Knight Foundation know what you think.

Innovation Clusters

Open Government

  1. Data Access & Transparency
  2. Data Utility
  3. Public Decision Making
  4. Resident Feedback
  5. Visualization & Mapping
  6. Voting

Community Action

  1. Civic Crowdfunding
  2. Community Organizing
  3. Information Crowdsourcing
  4. Neighborhood Forums
  5. Peer-to-Peer Sharing

Report Findings

  • From 2008 to 2012, the field of civic tech grew at an annual rate of 23%.
  • Community Action clusters are growing at a faster rate than those in Open Government.
  • Compared to the tech industry as a whole, civic tech organizations are relatively young.
  • While the number of grant investments and private investments was relatively even, the vast majority of total capital supporting civic tech came from private investments (84%).
  • Open Government innovation clusters are mostly supported through grant funding while Community Action clusters mostly attracted private capital.
  • Financial investors and individuals support a large share of Community Action investments and Foundations account for more than half of the number of investments in Open Government.
Imagine Cary Age Graph

Where are the Millenials?

Cary, NC – On looking at the graph, the question popped into my mind. Scott Ramage, AICP, Principal Planner for the Town of Cary Planning Department was speaking at the monthly Economic Development Committee Meeting on May 1, 2013. We were getting a preview of the information developed for Imagine Cary.

The above graph bugged me. The 20-29 year old grouping was very low for Cary compared to the region. Why was Cary missing a generation? Is this something new or has it always been that way? Raleigh seemed to have the alternate trend as their 20-29 year old group was much larger than Cary.

Census Data

I went to the US census data to try to answer my question. There is a very useful tool on the site, Fact Finder, that lets you sift through the many, many census databases to come up with some information.

I pulled out data for 2000 and 2010 and below is the age distributions I found for Cary.

Cary Age Distribution 2000 vs 2010

The age range in 2000 of the current Millenial generation also has a drop off, so this does not look to be something new for Cary.  The graph seems to point out a decrease in the population of younger professionals and an increase in the older professionals and those who are most likely retired.

Why are the Age Ranges Different?

I know you will ask the question as to why the age ranges are different from the chart taken from Scott’s presentation and mine. The answer comes from the age ranges that are reported by the Census tables. For some reason, the age range reporting for the 2000 census is different than the 2010 census. The 2000 census reported many age ranges in split decades (ie. 35-44) so it was not possible to get the 2000 age ranges to match up to the 2010 age ranges. I was able to go in the reverse and get 2010 data to fit into the age ranges reported in the 2000 census data.

Wake and Raleigh

I also looked at the population change in Wake County and Raleigh for completeness.
Wake County Age Distribution 2000 vs 2010
Raleigh Age Distribution 2000 vs 2010

What Does This Mean?

I’m not sure. This is just one view of a huge amount of data that is available to us. The answers may be found with much more analysis. The Open Data movement will help as more data becomes available for civic hackers to chew on.

What do you think?

Pictures: Cary Open Data Day

cary-open-data-day-1

Story and photos by Hal Goodtree. First published on CaryCitizen.

Cary, NC – It was a rainy Saturday in Cary. Perfect time to learn about Open Data and write some code.

Cary Open Data Day

About 70 people showed up for Open Data Day on February 23, 2013 at the Cary Chamber. Town of Cary IT provided Wi-Fi and technical support (thanks Bill and Wilson).

Jason Hare, Open Data Program Manager for Raleigh gave the keynote. He educated the crowd (me, at least) about the Open Knowledge FoundationOpen Data Institute and the principles of Open Data.

“Transparent government. Not transparent citizens.” – Jason Hare, Cary Open Data Day

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Jason also emphasized the goal of regionalism for open data in the Triangle. That is, municipalities need to adopt similar rules and standards so data can be easily complied for the entire region.

Hacking and Workshops

After the keynote, council member Lori Bush fired up the crowd and solicited ideas for data projects to hack. The group had half a dozen data sets provided by Town of Cary, plus all the open data available on the internet (for example, maps). The group also pitched ideas for data sets they’d like to see made available for future projects.

open-data-day-cary-ideas

Crime data was a topic of high interest, as well as data about government spending.

The crowd broke up into smaller groups scattered around the Chamber to work on specific projects. The goal was to have a model up and working by the end of the day.

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Throughout the day, workshops popped up in the conference room or the board room. Topics included privacy, Code for AmericaTriangle WikiGithubOpenSpending.orgdata journalism and more.

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After a full day of hacking and learning, eight groups presented working open data websites to the conference. Crime “heat maps” were popular.

cary-open-data-map-1

Organizers Ian Cillay and Ian Henshaw of TechnologyTank raffled off a Samsung Chrome Book, won by a PhD student from NC State.

open-data-day-cary-0215

It was an auspicious beginning to Cary as a community tech hub. Open Data Day is a sure-thing to return to Cary next year.

More Pictures

In the spirit of Open Data Day, the entire set of 42 pictures is available on Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

All About Data Journalism

Graph from Mortality of the British Army, 1858

Cary, NC – Sometimes, a word or phrase comes into focus around something we already understand, but have not yet named. Such a phrase is data journalism. Read more

Cary Open Data Day Image

Cary Open Data Day

cary-open-data-day

Story by Hal Goodtree, first published on CaryCitizen. Photo by HackNY.org.

Cary, NC – Cary’s first Open Data Day and Hackathon are coming on February 23, 2013. The event is open to developers, designers, policy wonks, data analysts and regular citizens. Read more

What You Should Know About Big Data in 2013

Story by Managing Partner Hal Goodtree. First published on CaryInnovationCenter.org.

Cary, NC – Big Data is the flood of information that surrounds every company in 2012. Creating meaningful information from that data is a challenge to companies large and small. Here’s what you need to know about Big Data for 2013. Read more