Hacking with Open Oakland

Open Oakland is one of the most vibrant and active Code for America Brigades in the country, and last night we had the pleasure of joining members for their weekly hack night.

Open Oakland is somewhat unique in that it brings civic hacking directly into the heart of city government – holding it’s weekly meetups inside Oakland City Hall. The event last night saw a large turnout of civic hackers all actively engaged on a number of interesting projects.

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The Power of Permit Data

December and January tend to be the most retrospective time of the year, a time when we look back over the previous year to see what we’ve accomplished.


And since we typically think about open data and government operations around the clock at Accela, we thought it would be interesting to look back at one view of government operations during 2014 using open data from the CivicData platform.

With this in mind, we built Permit Review, an open data application that provides a view of six governments and their handling of building permits in 2014 (as compared to the previous year).

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Announcing Accela Connect

Accela Connect is a a 4-day event taking place in early March that will bring together developers, business partners, customers and Accela staff to discuss ways that we can strengthen the civic technology ecosystem and create new linkages between governments and those that we serve.


The event is being held at the Resort at Squaw Creek in Olympic Valley, CA from March 1st – 4th and will include leaders in the civic technology space from across the country.

Don’t miss this opportunity to spend time with thought leaders in the civic space, state and local government officials and Accela staff as we discuss civic innovation and best practices in open data and civic engagement.

Register today.

Adventures in Open Data ETL

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure to speak at the Code for America Summit about work that Accela is doing to help the City of Evanston, IL publish it’s restaurant inspection data in LIVES format.

The benefits of publishing data in standard formats is becoming clearer, but many governments still have questions about how it is done. In the next few posts, I want to walk through the mechanics of taking data from Accela Automation and publishing it to an open data portal, and then using that open data to create a LIVES-compliant data feed.

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Uploading Data to CivicData.com

CivicData.com is an immensely powerful data platform that can be used by Accela customers and others free of charge to make data available to developers and others.

For our customers, we offer special utilities that can automate the publishing of data from Accela Automation to the CivicData.com platform, making it quick and easy to share data with those that need it. But for other users, or for Accela customers that want to share data from other systems, it’s still quick and easy to publish data to the CivicData.com platform.

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New Accela Developer Forum

As the number of developers using Accela’s platforms and APIs grows, we are seeing some exciting and innovative new ideas emerge and become working projects.

We are also seeing a number of important questions arise from our developers – often, these questions and the answers we provide may benefit others working on similar projects or applications. To make it easier to post a question and get it answered, as well as to learn from the experience of others, we’re launching a new developer forum for questions, comments and ideas from the Accela developer community.

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