From “Zero to Civic” in Five Minutes

The Accela Construct API is a powerful platform that you can use to build civic applications.

We’ve written before on this blog about how easy it is to get started, and some of the cool things you can build. But I think it’s worth noting just how simple it is to get started, and just how powerful a civic application can be when its using real data from your city.

The screencast below walks through a simple SMS app that lets anyone in a city where the Construct API is available look up the status of a building permit based on an address. This empowers anyone with a device that can send a text message to check on the status of construction activity using live data from their city.

This simple app is build with Node.js and uses the Twilio platform to send and receive text messages. All of the code that is used can be found on GitHub.

The Construct API was designed to be a platform for civic innovation. It’s powerful enough and easy enough to use to let anyone to set up a useful civic application in a short amount of time.

With the Construct API in your toolkit, you’ll go from “zero to civic” in no time.

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