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TODD LIghtning Talks

TODD 2016 Lightning Talks

Raleigh, NC – The lightning talks for Triangle Open Data Day have been announced and this is a great line up of speakers! There is still time to register for TODD.

Lightning Talks

TODD and Lightning Talk Details

The lightning talks are scheduled from 11 am to 12:30 pm on Saturday, March 5, 2016.

  • TODD Website
  • When: Saturday, March 5, 2016 at 8:30 AM – Sunday, March 6, 2016 at 5:00 PM (EST)
  • Where: College of Engineering Engineering Building II, NCSU Centennial Campus, 890 Oval Dr, Raleigh, NC 27606
  • Why: Help our cities and counties by using open data
  • TODD Registration Site

Lightning NOAA by C. Clark – NOAA Photo Library

Picture from Triangle Open Data Day 2014 - pictures by Mitch Amiano

TODD2016 – Keynote and Schedule

Raleigh, NC – The Schedule and Keynote for Triangle Open Data Day 2016 (TODD) have been announced: Read more

Citygram Triangle Logo

Citygram Launches in Research Triangle, NC

Research Triangle, NC – The Code for Cary brigade of Code for America has led the launch of the first regional instance of the civic app Citygram, Citygram Triangle, NC.

What is Citygram?

Citygram is a civic engagement app that takes open data and transforms it into timely, highly localized updates on topics of importance to citizens. It was developed during the 2014 Code for America fellowship program in Charlotte, N.C., and refined through a strong collaboration between the City of Charlotte and the Code for Charlotte brigade. It later won a Code for America Technology Award.

Citygram Triangle launched with the most requested open dataset, crime incident data. Citygram Triangle combines the stream of crime incident data from the Durham open data and Raleigh open data portals along with Cary crime incident data collected by Code for Cary through public records requests and processed on their brigade open data portal.

How Do I Subscribe to Citygram Triangle?

First, bring up the Citygram site in your browser and select “Research Triangle, NC” from the pull down menu of “your city” (https://www.citygram.org/)

Citygram Triangle NC Registration

  1. Select the data stream that you want to be notified of. As of now this is only crime incident data, but additional data streams will be added soon by the Triangle Code for America Brigades.
  2. Enter your address.
  3. Select the city where you live. Note, this step is only to resolve your address. It will not limit your access of data to the city you have selected. If you live on the boundary of an adjoining city, you will receive alerts from both cities.
  4. Select the notification diameter of your request. You will see some information appear below the map of how often you would have been notified in the past week which will give you an idea of how big you want your notification diameter
  5. Select if you want to be notified by text or e-mail.

A very simple process! You will be notified as data is updated in the triangle area open data portals.

What about crime incident data from Apex, Chapel Hill, Morrisville, Wake Forest, etc? When will you be able to be notified of activity in these parts of the Triangle? The answer is that Citygram can only alert you to information that is streamed into the app from open data portals. We would encourage you to discuss this with your elected officials to see if this can become a priority for your town.

Want to See More From Citygram Triangle?

The best way is to attend one or more of the Code for America brigade meetups in the Triangle and get involved. There are brigades in Cary, Durham and Raleigh and one of our ongoing projects will be to add additional datasets to Citygram Triangle.

If you don’t live in the Triangle, please look at joining a brigade nearer to you. There are existing brigades in Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, and newly forming brigades in Wilmington and Winston-Salem.

Previous Tech Tank Articles on Code for America and Open Data

Cofounders Capital Announces Investments

Cofounders Capital Announces 3rd and 4th Investments

Cary, NC – Early this week Cofounders Capital announced their 3rd and 4th investments. Unlike the first two investments that were follow on rounds, these are both new first round investments led by Cofounders.

Employus LogoEmployUS is a Raleigh based startup run by an NCSU graduate. It could become the Uber of the staffing industry by empowering employers to lessen their dependence on staffing agencies by offering referral bonuses to anyone who connects them to a great hire. Referrers can make thousands of dollars just by referring a friend for a new job. EmployUS was a Citrix Accelerator company and a winner of a $50K NC Idea grant. Cofouunders have lined up some solid beta customers and recruited a proven CTO.

Factivate LogoFactivate is a business intelligence tool for sales and marketing organizations providing data aggregation, visualizations and alerts. In sharp contrast to the complex and expensive Business Intelligence tools on the market today, if you know how to use Excel then you know 95% of what you need to know to use Factivate and pull your cloud-based data into a simple familiar interface for analysis and manipulation. Factivate is run by a Duke graduate who currently works out of our lab in Cary. Cofounders lined up several large beta customers before leading the round.

Cofounders Capital

Cofounders Capital is an early stage seed fund focused on software ventures in the Triangle. Created in 2015, Cofounders partnered with the Town of Cary to provide free lab space to entrepreneurs who receive expert help modeling and vetting their startup ideas. We help with prototyping, vetting and lining up beta customers.

The most promising of these ventures are then funded through Cofounders Capital’s $12M seed fund. Cofounders Capital is managed by serially successful entrepreneur, David Gardner with a team of over seventy advisers and volunteer mentors who are all investors in the fund, eager to support entrepreneurship in the Triangle and to help our portfolio companies and entrepreneurs succeed.

Youth Leadership Cary - Bonus from Technology Tank

Are Business Cards Dead?

Cary, NC – On Friday of last week, I had the opportunity to see the end of the Cary Chamber of Commerce ‘Youth Leadership Cary’ graduation at The Cary. 40 exceptional young men and women had successfully completed the program and had obviously impressed the adults leading this course.

The leader of the event encouraged the students to use this experience as the start of their professional network. My question during the social after the program was “So do all the students now have Linked-In profiles?” Questions had to be asked of the students to see if they knew about Linked-In and if they had profiles, and the answer was ‘no’…

If you are mentoring a Junior or Senior in high school or any college student, they all should have Linked-In profiles now!

Here is the Technology Tank / Cary Innovation Center ‘bonus session’ for the students who were in the Youth Leadership Cary program. I sent this through the chamber to the high school counselors for these 40 students, but many, many more need this advice so please pass it along.

Make Your Linked-In Profile Now!

Linked-In is an invaluable professional networking and contact management tool. Build your profile now and keep adding to it as you progress in your careers.

This is your professional persona, so think school picture, not those fun beach pictures. You are young, so update your picture every few years so that people are not surprised when they meet you (you are still aging quickly). Don’t post jokes, what you ate for lunch or stray thoughts – FaceBook is the place for all that stuff.

Build your resume and keep it current with all of your accomplishments and work history. Ask for recommendations as you go (you don’t have to make them public if you don’t want to…) People search Linked-In all the time and you may be presented with opportunities you never would know about otherwise.

Link to all of the people you have met in this program and keep building your network as you go. Business cards are very important, but by the time you are out of school, there is a high likelihood that most of the people you have met are now working for a different company and so that card is obsolete.

When you make a connection request, always remind the person how you met. No blank connection requests!

Create your Linked-In profile now and make sure you keep your profile up to date. Use the smoke detector battery rule at a minimum, ie. update your profile when the hour changes.

What Do You Think?

We are always interested in best-in-class Technology advice. Please let us know if you think I’m off base or if there is a newer and better way. Cheers!


Disclosure: Linked-In profile of the writer.

Featured image Public Domain from the Town of Cary

Open Data Portals in NC

Open Data Portals in NC

Cary, NC – The open data movement is gaining traction in North Carolina. This month both the Durham City/County portal and the Wake County portal have come on line. Here is a summary of the open data portals currently in operation in North Carolina.

Asheville
Asheville was the first city in North Carolina with an open data portal. The portal was developed in 2012 in support of Asheville’s first Open Data Day. The Asheville portal is powered by Azavea, a B-Corporation out of Philadelphia that specializes in the creation of geographic web and mobile software.

Cary
Cary put up an open data site in support of Cary Open Data Day in 2013. This site consisted of 6 datasets in .csv format and was kept updated for some time following the event. The site is no longer active but we understand that Cary is undertaking an open data program soon so we will wait to see what portal Cary uses.

  • http://data.CaryNC.gov

Charlotte
Charlotte launched their open data portal in late 2014 in conjunction with their Code for America Fellowship program. The Charlotte portal is powered by ESRI, a US company providing geospacial mapping tools.

Durham City and Durham County
Durham City and Durham County released their open data portal in time for Triangle Open Data Day 2015. The Durham portal is powered by OpenDataSoft, a French company providing open data portals.

Raleigh
Raleigh launched their open data portal early 2013 which has been recognized with a 2013 Web 2.0 Award from the Public Technology Institute (PTI). The Raleigh open data portal is powered by Socrata, a US company that provides open data portals.

Wake County
Wake County has just released a Beta open data portal and is looking for public feedback. The Wake County portal is powered by ESRI, a US company providing geospacial mapping tools.

Open NC
Open-NC.org is a catalog of digital public data created by state and local governments in North Carolina. It was created by Ryan Thornburg, an Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with funding from a Knight Foundation News Challenge grant.

NC Datapalooza
NC Datapalooza is a 6 month long open data competition in NC with 2015 being the third year of this program. The NC Datapalooza open data portal is powered by Socrata, a US company that provides open data portals.

Open Data Portal Location Visualizations

We wanted to give our readers some idea of the power of embedding visualizations into their stories. First we created a simple .csv file that included the pertinent data about the open data portals in NC. We used the geocordinates from GeoHack. Since the writer has access to a Socrata and OpenDataSoft portal, the csv file was uploaded to the portals and the resulting visualizations were embedded in this post.

Changes to the underlying data set in the portal will be immediately available to the visualizations on your post. This means that your visualization will always be current and there will be no need to republish based on updated information. Of course if you want a snapshot in time you can always embed a screen shot of the visualization.

Socrata

OpenDataSoft

Previous Articles on Open Data


Disclosure: The writer is an organizer of NC Datapalooza (which has a full Socrata portal) and a Brigade Captain of Code for Cary (which has a full OpenDataSoft Portal as well as a brigade level Socrata portal)

Open Data Portals in the Triangle 2015

The Triangle is Ground Zero for Open Data

Research Triangle, NC – A recent article in the Triangle Business Journal suggests that the Triangle has become ground zero for the competition of fiber competitors (see Former FCC exec: North Carolina could be ‘ground zero’ in fiber competition) . Triangle Open Data Day 2015 may witness the beginnings of ‘ground zero’ for the open data portal competitors.

Socrata

About Socrata – The Data Experience Company

Socrata helps public sector organizations improve transparency, citizen service, and data-driven decision-making. Our user-friendly solutions deliver data to governments trying to reduce costs, to citizens who want to understand how their tax dollars are used, and to civic hackers dedicated to creating new apps and improving services.

Raleigh has been using Socrata for their open data portal since the launch of Open Raleigh in March 2013. Many domestic municipal open data portals have used Socrata since the beginning of the open data movement.

Socrata was a sponsor of Triangle Open Data Day 2014 and is providing a brigade open data portal for Triangle Open Data Day 2015.

OpenDataSoft

About OpenDataSoft

OpenDataSoft is a Cloud-based turnkey platform designed for smart and easy transformation of all types of data into innovative services. Its mission: make it easier for business users to publish, share and reuse data.

Durham City and Durham County have just announced that they have chosen OpenDataSoft for the open data portal to support their new open data program. OpenDataSoft is currently participating in the Open Data Institute startup incubation program.

OpenDataSoft is a sponsor of Triangle Open Data Day 2015.

ESRI

About ESRI ArcGIS Open Data

Over a million people choose ArcGIS to manage data and analyze information to make decisions that drive their daily operations. ArcGIS Open Data provides organizations around the world the ability to share their authoritative data in multiple open formats, so that it can be discovered by scientists, students, businesses, journalists, and citizens.

Wake County is discussing launching their beta open data portal soon with ESRI ArcGIS Open Data and Cary is also rumored to be looking towards ESRI for their upcoming open data portal.

Triangle as Ground Zero

The Open Data Institute of North Carolina (The ODI NC) also located in the Triangle has the goal of developing North Carolina as the largest interoperable data market in the country if not the world. It will be interesting to see how the different local municipalities work to form interoperable data sets with the different choices they have made for their portals. The great news for the Triangle is that our market will be a testing ground for best practices and functionality of all the commercially available portals.

It will be interesting to see what the Triangle’s open data portal landscape looks like at Triangle Open Data Day 2016!


Disclosure – The writer is the CEO of the ODI NC and a Registered ODI Trainer.

Nina Hole's Fire Sculpture Cary NC 9224 from Flickr by bobistraveling

What is Art and How to Find It?

Cary, NC – The Code for Cary Brigade has started working with the Town of Cary Cultural Arts Department and the Cary Visual Art organization (CVA) to look at redeploying the Code for America Public Art Finder App.

Code fro America Public Art Finder AppAt the brigade meeting on February 10th, Denise Dickens, Public Art Coordinator for the Town of Cary and Shawnee Becker of CVA presented what was available in terms of information and existing on-line maps of public art in the Town. We then had a great discussion about what functionality the app should have. The delineation is that Code for Cary can provide an app and functionality but the Town/CVA needs to provide the content.

App Specification Creep?

An interesting part of the discussions were about what users of this app would expect to be able to discover with the app. The Town of Cary has a definition of public art to clarify scope of their activity but art sited before the Town’s Public Arts program started are not part of the town’s catalog.

Should the mural on the side of the Sorrell building be included? What about where art links to the history of the town, like the horse sculpture at SearStone? What about interesting architecture, folk art and historical sites? This is a slippery slope of specification to be sure!
Val Fox Mural from Waymarking.com

What Would You Expect as a User?

This is a very important question to ask in the development of any app, the market analysis, or as Steve Blank would say, “Get Out of the Building” and talk to your customers!

Here are some of the ideas we discussed. Feel free to add some of your own:

  • Only public art as defined by the Town
  • All public art, publicly or privately owned
  • Interesting or classic architecture
  • Folk art
  • Historical sites
  • Ability to ask for an item to be added to the app
  • Ability to engage in discussion about the art (ie. a forum)

Leave your ideas in the comments below this article.

Join the Public Art Finder App Team

If you want to help out with this new and exciting project, please attend any of the upcoming Code for Cary meetings. Code for Cary meets every other Tuesday night at the Cary Innovation Center in the 2nd floor conference room. All are welcome to attend and participate, you do not have to be a coder!

Approximately 30 minutes before the meetings pizza and beer is available courtesy of the generous support from the Code for America national organization. The brigade asks all attendees to sign up on their meetup group so sufficient food can be ordered in advance of the meetings.

Previous Articles on Code for Cary


Disclosure – Tech Tank supports the Code for Cary Brigade with space, leadership and logistical support

Nina Hole’s Fire Sculpture Cary NC 9224 from Flickr by bobistraveling

Val Fox Mural from Waymarking.com

Triangle Open Data Day 2015 Sponsors

Triangle Open Data Day Sponsors

Cary, NC – We are proud and excited to announce the sponsors of Triangle Open Data Day (TODD):

Gold Sponsors

OpenDataSoft LogoOpenDataSoft is a Cloud-based turnkey platform designed for smart and easy transformation of all types of data into innovative services. Its mission: make it easier for business users to publish, share and reuse data.
Code for America LogoCode for America is a new kind of public service with brigades throughout the Triangle.

Bronze Sponsors

Caktus Group LogoCaktus Group. Caktus Group is the nation’s largest Django firm, building custom web and mobile apps to address the most complex challenges. In addition to being open source leaders, we’re committed to social good.
 

The Open Data Institute of North Carolina LogoThe Open Data Institute of North Carolina (ODI NC). The ODI NC provides Open Data thought leadership, research, training, consulting, dataset certifications and networking opportunities in North Carolina and south-east United States.
 

We are exceptionally pleased to have such an excellent venue for this year’s event, Engineering Building II on North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus.
NC State College of Engineering

We are fortunate to have a Brigade Data Portal provided by Socrata for Triangle Open Data Day and Code Across.


Triangle Open Data Day is produced by Technology Tank in partnership with Code for Cary

cary-bike-hike-app-review

TechTank Review – Cary Bike & Hike App

Cary, NC – On January 12, 2015, the Town of Cary released a new municipal mobile application, the Cary Bike & Hike App. Technology Tank undertook a survey to get user feedback on the new app. Read more