Posts

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 The site is no longer active but we understand that Cary is undertaking an open data program soon so we will wait to see what portal Cary uses.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)

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.

Upcoming Startup Weekends in NC

Startup Weekends in NC – RAL and CLT

Raleigh, NC – Mark your calendars for the 2 upcoming Startup Weekends:

About Startup Weekend

Startup Weekend is a 54 hour event that brings together designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and experts from all domains to do amazing things.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and embark on a three-day frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekend culminates with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback!

Charlotte Startup Weekend

The Charlotte Startup Weekend is a generic format meaning that an idea from any market vertical can be pitched and worked on. lots of interesting ideas come out of these startup weekends! Lots of fun and definitely worth attending.

Triangle Startup Weekend EDU

The Triangle Startup Weekend EDU has a focus on the education vertical. Come with your ideas on great products and services in the education space.

Note: Triangle Startup Weekend EDU is going on at the same time as Triangle Open Data Day (TODD). From the Hunt Library, you will be only a few buildings over from Engineering Building II where TODD is happening. So stop by and get the advantage of adding an open data facet to your Triangle Startup Weekend EDU project!

Code for America Logo

Code for America in NC 2015

Research Triangle, NC – 2014 was a very busy year in NC for the Code for America Brigades. In 2015, NC will continue to have a large percentage of the Code for America activities in the US.

NC Cities with Code for America Brigades 

Check out the brigade websites to see all of the cool projects that are being worked on. The best thing is that the projects are all open source and open data so they can be reused in other cities or expanded to regional efforts.

In the Triangle, the brigades take turns hosting big hack events including Triangle Open Data Day, CityCamp NC and Hack Duke while also supporting many other events during the year.

What is Code for America?

Code for America is a 501(c)3 non-profit that envisions a government by the people, for the people, that works in the 21st century.

Our programs change how we participate in government by:

  • connecting citizens and governments to design better services,
  • encouraging low-risk settings for innovation; and,
  • supporting a competitive civic tech marketplace.

What is a Code for America Brigade?

The Brigade network is an ongoing effort to deploy, maintain and sustain civic technology and open data infrastructures. Each Brigade is comprised of local volunteers and government employees who connect for regular hack nights, discussions and app development.

How Do I Get Involved?

Code for America is an open group and all can join. We need a diverse voice to be effective. Please join your local Meetup Group:

If you don’t live in any of these areas, please contact Ian Henshaw, Brigade Captain for Code for Cary and Managing Partner of Tech Tank, and he will get you connected!

Previous Tech Tank Articles on Code for America

2014 Top Ten Image

Tech Tank Top 10 for 2014

Cary, NC – 2014 was a good year for Technology activity in NC and the Triangle. The pages and regular features from Technology Tank that you found most helpful were our listing of Tech Meetup Groups in the Triangle and Charlotte, the monthly lists of Upcoming Tech Events and our Tech Calendar. [Note, please contact us if you find any errors or omissions on our Tech Meetup Group lists.]

Tech Tank Top 10 Articles

Here are the Top 10 Tech Tank articles based on your views:

  1. Hortonworks launches in Durham. Tech Tank interview with 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.
  2. Raleigh – Emerging Tech Hub. Raleigh included in a TransferWise blog list of the 8 emerging tech hubs.
  3. Oakhaven Coworking. A project of Tech Tank, Oakhaven Coworking follows the success of American Underground, HQ Raleigh and others by bringing a coworking space to suburban Cary.
  4. How Libya’s Election Process is Better than the United States’s. NC based Caktus Group developed the technology that registered 1.5 million voters for Libya’s June 25th elections.
  5. Triangle Open Data Day Recap. We were told that Triangle Open Data Day was the biggest Open Data event in the world!
  6. Morrisville StartUp Networking. The Morrisville Innovation Foundation periodic networking event.
  7. Triangle Open Data Day. An initiative of Tech Tank, Triangle Open Data Day unites developers, data analysts, civic leaders, students and activists in a weekend of learning, liberating data and building applications to display useful information.
  8. Code for America Brigade. The idea behind Code for America (CfA) is “hacking for public good” – developing civic apps that can be used across municipalities in America.
  9. LIVES – Open Data Standard. Wake County is one of four early adopters of the LIVES data standard – an open data standard which allows municipalities to publish restaurant inspection information that can be consumed by apps like Yelp.
  10. The Open Data Institute Comes to NC. The Open Data Institute founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee has a node in North Carolina – the Open Data Institute of North Carolina (ODI NC).

Picture from iabusa under Creative Commons

Fiber Optic Vortex by Jared Zammit

Upcoming Tech Events – June ’14 Edition

Cary, NC – Here is a quick summary of Technology events coming up in the next few months. Let us know what you think of the events and also let us know if we have missed any.

Quick Links

NCTech4Good Conference June 5-6, 2014 in Chapel Hill. The NCTech4Good Conference will be held June 6, 2014, at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill. It will be preceded by a workshop on Thursday, June 5. Beth Kanter is the workshop leader and keynote speaker. The NCT4G conference is designed to serve nonprofit professionals, volunteers, consultants, and small business owners. This two-day conference focuses on technologies in areas such as fundraising, social media, and communication and advocacy tools, offering both pre-selected presentations and workshops, as well as spontaneous sessions created by participants.

Maker Faire North Carolina – Saturday, June 7, 2014 in Raleigh, NC. Maker Faire North Carolina is a celebration of all things made. Get inspired at North Carolina’s largest celebration of DIY culture and innovation!

Code for Charlotte Hack-a-thon – Saturday, June 7, 2014 from 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM (EDT) in Charlotte, NC. “The Best Hack-a-thon Ever”. The day we’ve been waiting for. Clear your calendar – It’s going down! Code for Charlotte Brigade is having it’s first Hack-a-thon and you’re invited.

Charlotte Data Day – June 17, 2014 from 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM (EDT) in Charlotte, NC. The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, in partnership with the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, present the second annual Charlotte Data Day, which will explore the state of housing in Charlotte through local and national data sources.

ProductCamp CLT – June 21, 2014 from 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM in Charlotte, NC. ProductCamp is a free, one-day conference for anyone interested in designing, building, launching and marketing great products. It’s collaborative and participant-driven. That means no set agenda and no sales pitches; just a great opportunity to interact with the region’s best and brightest on product strategy.

Data Matters Data Science Summer Workshop Series – June 23-27 in Chapel Hill, NC. Are you: A manager who needs to know how to stay afloat in the data deluge? A data analytics specialist grappling with large data sets? A data center administrator in the private or public sector? A researcher who must manage, share and archive large, complicated data sets? An entrepreneur, student, researcher, scholar, or employee determined to make the most of the data revolution? If so, the Data Matters Data Science Summer Workshop Series is for you.

Triangle Startup Weekend: Education – Friday, July 18, 2014 at 6:00 PM – Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 9:00 PM (EDT) in Raleigh, NC. Have you ever had an idea for improving education? Here’s your opportunity to transform your education ideas into action in 54 hours. Find the right people with complimentary skills & the passion & dedication to build a startup quick & smart. Test your idea with real potential customers, receive coaching from experienced education entrepreneurs & industry professionals, and win prizes that will help you take your startup idea to the next level of execution!

Startup & Play: Main Event – Thursday, July 24th at 6:00pm in Durham. More details to follow

Triangle Startup Weekend: Health – August 8th-10th in Durham, NC. All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Cryptolina – August 15-16, 2014 in Raleigh, NC. “The defining Bitcoin event for the Carolinas.” Cryptolina is the Carolinas first event bringing together Bitcoin entrepreneurs, financial professionals, venture capital and angel investors, enthusiasts and others who are looking to network, learn and discuss the emerging cryptocurrency industry.

NCDevCon 2014 – North Carolina’s Premier Web Conference – Saturday, September 13, 2014 at 8:00 AM – Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 3:30 PM (EDT) in Raleigh, NC. NCDevCon is a 2 day web and mobile development conference in Raleigh, NC. For $200 you get access to all sessions and hands on classes. Your conference fee also includes lunch, a snazzy conference T-Shirt and admission to our evening networking event. Learn more at ncdevcon.com

CED Tech Venture Conference: The Internet of (Every)thing – September 16-17, 2014 in Raleigh, NC. You’re invited to this year’s CED Tech Venture Conference, to be held September 16-17, 2014 in Raleigh, NC. Join 600 of the region’s most promising early-stage and high-growth companies, leading investors, and tech enthusiasts as we explore how the ubiquitous “Internet of Things” paradigm is increasingly blurring the lines between the physical and digital worlds.

Triangle InfoSeCon 2014 – October 16, 2014 from 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. (EST) in Raleigh, NC. The Raleigh ISSA Chapter fall conference is a great opportunity to learn more about information security, talk with companies who provide security products and services, and network with fellow information security professionals. We submit CPE Credits automatically for attendees who provide their CISSP certification information. Registration Site

BSIDES – October 17, 2014 in Raleigh, NC. Security B-sides (BSides) is a community-driven framework for building events for and by information security community members. The goal is to expand the spectrum of conversation beyond the traditional confines of space and time. It creates opportunities for individuals to both present and participate in an intimate atmosphere that encourages collaboration. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from participants. It is where conversations for the next-big-thing are happening.

Southeast SAS Users Group Conference – October 19 – 21, 2014 in Myrtle Beach, SC.

All Things Open – October 22-23, 2014 in Raleigh, NC. A Conference Exploring Open Source, Open Tech and the Open Web.

Internet Summit 2014 – November 11-13, 2014 in Raleigh, NC. More information to follow.


Picture – Fiber Optic Vortex by Jared Zammit

MSA Areas for NC - Technology Density

Tech Meetup Density in NC – Updated

Cary, NC – This is an update of our post of January 3, 2014 to reflect additional population centers in North Carolina. We have added the MSA’s of Asheville, Fayetteville and Wilmington.

Meetup Groups are collections of people looking to proactively learn and interact about a specific topic. The focus of Tech Meetup Groups are fairly specific about an underlying program, platform or methodology. Those attending Tech Meetup Groups are not usually the type of person who could be called “9 to 5” developers, designers, etc.

Our analysis of Tech Meetup Group Density shows a large difference between the major population centers in North Carolina. The density of Tech meetup groups could be a useful indicator about the number of people in an area that are active in Tech fields and may be useful for companies looking to locate Tech labs or Tech related facilities.

Tech Meetup Group Density

Tech Meetup Group Density in North Carolina (Meetup groups per million population)

  • Triangle – 50.1
  • Asheville – 25.6
  • Charlotte – 21.0
  • Wilmington – 19.4
  • Triad – 9.9
  • Fayetteville – 8.0

Methodology

For the number of meetup groups in an area, we used the Tech Tank summaries of the Tech Meetup groups in the Triangle, Triad and Charlotte areas. We felt that there was a large difference in the number of Tech meetup groups in the 3 areas, so we looked to normalize the data and used the population of the Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA’s).

For population we went to the Wikipedia page for North Carolina Statistical Areas. The population numbers are as of July 1, 2011, as estimated by the United States Census Bureau, and the Core-based Statistical Areas are defined per the United States Office of Management and Budget. For the Triangle, we combined the MSA’s for Raleigh-Cary and Durham. For the Triad, we combined the MSA’s for Greensboro-High Point and Winston-Salem. The population data is not exhaustively collected and we used the Wikipedia summary page for convenience rather than rigor, but we feel that the numbers provide a good basis for our evaluation.

The number of Tech Meetup Groups is developed by a review of all groups on Meetup.com within 50 miles of a City. We selected the groups that we feel are Tech based and also included a few others that we are aware of that do not use Meetup.com. Our experience is that Tech groups list their meetings on Meetup.com since this is where Techies look for interesting meetings to attend. Chapters of possibly Tech related trade organizations do not appear in the numbers.

What Do You Think?

We are interested in what you think about this analysis or if we are missing out on a number of Tech meetup groups (eg. maybe an area uses something other than Meetup.com?). Leave your comments below or contact Ian Henshaw directly.

Meetup Density Chart - Tech Tank Analysis

Tech Meetup Density in NC

Cary, NC – Meetup Groups are collections of people looking to proactively learn and interact about a specific topic. The focus of Tech Meetup Groups are fairly specific about an underlying program, platform or methodology. Those attending Tech Meetup Groups are not usually the type of person who could be called “9 to 5” developers, designers, etc.

Our analysis of Tech Meetup Group Density shows a large difference between the major population centers in North Carolina. The density of Tech meetup groups could be a useful indicator about the number of people in an area that are active in Tech fields and may be useful for companies looking to locate Tech labs or Tech related facilities.

Tech Meetup Group Density

Tech Meetup Group Density in North Carolina (Meetup groups per million population)

  • Triangle – 50.1
  • Charlotte – 21.0
  • Triad – 9.9

Methodology

For the number of meetup groups in an area, we used the Tech Tank summaries of the Tech Meetup groups in the Triangle, Triad and Charlotte areas. We felt that there was a large difference in the number of Tech meetup groups in the 3 areas, so we looked to normalize the data and used the population of the Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA’s).

For population we went to the Wikipedia page for North Carolina Statistical Areas. The population numbers are as of July 1, 2011, as estimated by the United States Census Bureau, and the Core-based Statistical Areas are defined per the United States Office of Management and Budget. For the Triangle, we combined the MSA’s for Raleigh-Cary and Durham. For the Triad, we combined the MSA’s for Greensboro-High Point and Winston-Salem. The population data is not exhaustively collected and we used the Wikipedia summary page for convenience rather than rigor, but we feel that the numbers provide a good basis for our evaluation.

The number of Tech Meetup Groups is developed by a review of all groups on Meetup.com within 50 miles of a City. We selected the groups that we feel are Tech based and also included a few others that we are aware of that do not use Meetup.com. Our experience is that Tech groups list their meetings on Meetup.com since this is where Techies look for interesting meetings to attend. Chapters of possibly Tech related trade organizations do not appear in the numbers.

What Do You Think?

We are interested in what you think about this analysis or if we are missing out on a number of Tech meetup groups (eg. maybe an area uses something other than Meetup.com?). Leave your comments below or contact Ian Henshaw directly.

Charlotte Regional Partnership Logo

Tech Meetup Groups in Charlotte

Charlotte, NC – Here is a listing of Tech Meetup groups in the Charlotte Area. It seems that if you are interested in a language or Tech topic, there is a Meetup group for that. Hover over the links to see a brief blurb about what the group does.

I have attempted to categorize the groups. Please feel free to comment if you think that I have made an error or have missed a group.  Thank you in advance!

Agile

Analytics

Android

Apps

Hackers

iOS/Mac

Languages / Platforms

Miscellaneous

Security

Startups

SEO / Web Design

Tech

WordPress

Tech New Logo - Creative Commons from zebtron

May 4 is a Busy Day for Tech in NC

This coming Saturday, there is an Analytics event in Durham, NC and a Code Camp in Charlotte, NC. Both events still have space available.

AnalyticsCamp 2013 – Saturday, May 4, 2013 from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM (EDT) in Durham, NC. AnalyticsCamp is a free day of networking and learning for folks interested in any kind of analytics.

Carolina Code Camp 2013 – Saturday, May 4, 2013 from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM (EDT) in Matthews, NC (Charlotte). Get in-depth exposure to exciting new developer technologies. Sessions will range from presentations, to hands on labs, to informal “chalk talks”. We will have a mix of speakers including Microsoft MVPs, authors, and most importantly, local developers just like you! Carolina Code Camp also includes a Builder Faire. Tech Tank Fellows Ian Cillay and Jamie Dixon are presenting sessions at the Code Camp.

May 4th is a busy day for Tech in NC with many options for those that do not watch the Kentucky Derby… If you go to either event, let us know what you learned.

Picture under creative commons from zebtron