August 29, 2013 | by

A Call for Local, Open Data

Open DataThis past May, President Obama issued an executive order requiring that going forward, any data generated by the federal government must be made available to the public in open, machine-readable formats. And last week, White House officials announced expanded technical guidance to help agencies make even more data accessible to the public.

The steps that the federal government has taken in opening up its data are a good start—but it’s only a start. As former Speaker Tip O’Neill famously said, “all politics is local.” In order for all citizens to truly benefit from open data, every city, county, and state needs to make their data more accessible. We’ve seen what happens when they do.

There have been a ton of incredible civic tools that have been made possible because of local open data efforts. Earlier this year, Contra Costa County in California launched the PulsePoint mobile application. The app notifies smartphone users who are trained in CPR when someone nearby may be in need of the lifesaving procedure.

Another great app out of Boston is the Adopt-a-Hydrant mobile application. The app maps out where fire hydrants are all throughout the city, so volunteers can help dig them out of the snow during the winter. This saves firefighters wasting valuable time hunting for these hydrants during fires. And what’s great about the app is it could work anywhere in the country, provided cities make their data accessible.

This past June, my company, Appallicious launched the Neighborhood Score app with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee at the US Conference of Mayors (USCM) in Las Vegas. This one-of-a-kind app provides an overall health and sustainability score, block-by-block for every neighborhood in the city of San Francisco. Neighborhood Score uses local, state, and federal data sets to allow residents to see how their neighborhoods rank in everything from public safety, to quality of schools, crime rates, air quality, and much more.

We must go local with open data.

Read the full story by Yo Yoshida at Techwire.net

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April 26, 2013 | by

Leveraging Open Data, Building Apps for Public Safety

White HouseOne of the core goals of the President’s Safety Data Initiative is to empower first responders and the public with information to make the safest and smartest decisions when they need it. In support of this goal, there has been a proliferation of innovative public safety apps—a number of which have been highlighted at the OSTP-supported Safety Datapalooza—using open data from local governments and Federal agencies.

The Red Cross Hurricane and Earthquake apps, for example, put lifesaving information in the hands of people who live in or are visiting hurricane- and earthquake-prone areas, giving instant access to local information on what to do before, during, and after hurricanes or earthquakes. And the PulsePoint app empowers citizens trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to provide life‐saving assistance to heart attack victims by notifying those trained citizens when someone nearby is having a cardiac emergency. The app also directs citizen rescuers to the location of the closest publicly accessible Automated External Defibrillator.

Read the full post by Tom Power and Brian Forde on the White House website.

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September 21, 2012 | by

How civic open data can help make us safer

Transportation for America LogoA federal government commitment to open data — epitomized in a White House “datapalooza” last Friday — has catalyzed the development of apps and tools that can help enrich citizens’ lives and help keep them safer.

We’re no stranger at T4 America to the idea of using open government data to help ordinary citizens better understand their transportation system and how federal and local transportation policy needs to change to make them safer. We’ve regularly used public data from the U.S. Department of Transportation to seed useful tools, like the interactive map of ten years of pedestrian fatalities (Dangerous by Design) that uses the federal traffic fatalities database, or the nationwide map of all U.S. deficient bridges (The Fix We’re In For) sourced from the regular National Bridge Inventory submitted by states to the federal government each year.

The White House followed up their announcement of safety.data.gov earlier in 2012 with a day-long “datapalooza” in Washington, D.C. last week that brought together organizations and developers interested in safety data specifically.

Read the rest of this article by Stephen Lee Davis at Transportation for America.

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September 18, 2012 | by

White House Showcases Cool Tools For Public Safety

Chief Price on stage at White House DatapaloozaIt’s not easy following Todd Park, the federal government’s chief technology officer, and his breathless on-stage enthusiasm for promoting technical innovation in government and the virtues of collaboration.

Park clearly found an avid proponent, however, in Seth Harris, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor, who made a persuasive case last week in describing the inherent logic for government and the private sector to work jointly in turning information into useful tools for the American public and the U.S. economy.

Harris was one of nearly two dozen public officials and innovators invited by the White House to make presentations at the latest in a series of White House “Datapalooza” events Sept. 14 – this one aimed at showcasing how government data is being used to improve public safety. The half-day symposium was hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement, the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Read the rest of this article by Wyatt Kash at AOL Government.

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September 13, 2012 | by

Fire Chief Richard Price Invited to White House to Present PulsePoint App

White HousePLEASANTON, CA – On Friday, September 14, 2012 San Ramon Valley Fire Chief Richard Price will present the lifesaving PulsePoint App at a White House “Safety Datapalooza” in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. The event will be streamed live at wh.gov/live beginning at 8:30 a.m. EST.

The White House Office of Public Engagement, Office of Science and Technology Policy and the U.S. Department of Transportation invited Chief Price to the event highlighting innovators from the private, nonprofit, and academic sectors who have utilized freely available government data to build products, services, and apps that advance public safety in creative and powerful ways.

The event will also feature the announcement of new safety data resources being made available, including valuable, real-time tools to provide details about natural disasters and improve preparedness and emergency response. The event will be followed by an “expo” in which attendees will have the opportunity to engage in hands-on demonstrations of the innovations highlighted.

The event will feature John Porcari, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation; Seth D. Harris, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor; Marcia McNutt, Director, U.S. Geological Survey and Todd Park, Assistant to the President, U.S. Chief Technology Officer.

About the PulsePoint Foundation
PulsePoint is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation based in the San Francisco Bay Area whose goal is to make it much easier for citizens who are trained in CPR to use their life saving skills to do just that… save lives! Through the use of modern, location-aware mobile devices PulsePoint is building applications that work with local Fire Departments, EMS agencies, and Police Departments to improve communications with citizens and empower them to reduce worldwide sudden cardiac arrest deaths. For more information visit https://www.pulsepoint.org

Note to Editors
For additional web and print resources related to the app including sample screen shots, supporting images and video, please visit the PulsePoint Foundation website at https://www.pulsepoint.org/media-resources

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