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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

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.

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.

Durham Announces Open Data

Durham Announces Open Data

Durham, NC – The City and County of Durham, NC announced today the hiring of Open Data Consultant, Jason Hare. Jason is the Director of Open Data at BaleFire Global and has been managing Raleigh’s award-winning open data initiative since it started in September 2012.

Open Data in Durham

The journey towards open data for Durham started in early 2013 or shortly before. [The writer attended one of the earliest meetings between Durham civic tech activists, Andy Krzmarzick and Colin Copeland (Code for Durham Brigade Captains) and Durham City and County IT employees in April 2013 at Bull City Burgers.] In Durham, the drive for open data started at a staff level and then rose to the elected official level as the program evolved. Much thought and effort has gone into developing the framework for a successful and sustainable open data program in Durham.

A unique characteristic of the the open data efforts for Durham is a partnership between the City and County. Both jurisdictions have released the same policy and action at the same time and will run a joint program for the benefit of the citizens, businesses and government of Durham. The effort is for a joint work plan and project framework building toward a projected website launch date of summer 2015.

Jason’s experience is important in helping us realize an Open Data effort that directly benefits our citizens and surrounding communities. Sustainability is paramount, and this will be enabled by doing everything we can to empower the communities through rich data and high usability. – Greg Marrow, Chief Information Officer, Information Services and Technology Department, Durham County

Who is Jason Hare?

Jason Hare is passionate about open data and has worked tirelessly in municipal, state, national and international efforts to open government data. From Raleigh to Newark, Colorado to North Carolina, to Puerto Rico, Ireland, Colombia and beyond, Jason has campaigned for data usability and citizen engagement with “data as infrastructure”. For the past two and a half years Jason Hare has been the Open Data Program Manager for the City of Raleigh, North Carolina as a consultant.

In 2013 Jason Hare was the primary organizer for NC DataPalooza. In 2013 he became an Open Data Institute (ODI) Member and founded an ODI Node in North Carolina. In 2014 he was made a member of the US Civil Society Organization’s Open Data Working Group for the Open Government Partnership Delegation. He has been interviewed and cited dozens of times for his philosophy on what open data means and the direction open data will go. Primary interests include user experience design, data driven design, open data, open data advocacy, service oriented architecture, data analysis, government services as a platform, analytic-driven portal interface design, e-government acculturation, citizen engagement, open source platforms and government transparency.

Previous Articles on Durham Open Data or BaleFire Global

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

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