Tag Archives: citizen engagement

Visualizing Data on Asian American and Pacific Islanders

The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) will be celebrated on Friday, October 7, 2016. Earlier this year, the Department of Education and the University of California, Riverside launched the Elevate: AAPI Data Challenge, inviting the public to show new ways to analyze, interpret, and present data about Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).

AAPIs are the fastest growing racial group in the USA, and the most diverse. Publicly available data sets include classification by national origin, such as Chinese, Filipino, Hmong, or Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander. Quality of life may be enhanced for communities when they know about and participate in federal programs, so this challenge is one way to generate new insights.

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The Second Sprint: Expanding the Opportunity Project

At the March launch of the opportunity Project, White House Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz said Monday, “ZIP code should not determine destiny.”

Personally, this is why I chose to work in public service and then Esri, a forward-leaning organization that supports civic innovation and community solutions through smart mapping.

Maps can highlight the inequality we face as a nation today, and also provide a guide to resources and solutions that can help expand economic opportunity to every American, regardless of geography.

We at Esri were excited to participate in the second sprint of the Opportunity Project, because maps and spatial analysis offer real solutions to problems that every American faces. This second sprint has allowed us to work closely with subject matter experts to understand more completely how to design tools for communities participating.

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Esri and Partners Demonstrating ArcGIS and Industry Solutions at GITEX 2016

By Richard Budden

With over 150,000 participants, GITEX is the largest technology event in the Middle East, and the third largest in the world. People attend the week long show to learn about the latest innovations, network with experts and decision makers, and discover the latest technologies being applied to every industry you can think of.

Esri will be attending the event again this year, from 16th to 20th October at Dubai’s World Trade Centre. As well as demonstrating the latest ArcGIS platform developments, this year we’ll be bringing some of our key regional partners and startups with us, all of which are leveraging ArcGIS in new and exciting ways.

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Data Driven Citizenship

No one cares about a neighborhood more than the people who live there. People spend their days and evenings along the street, raise children, foster connections with neighbors, build businesses, grow gardens, bike, walk, and live. A few choose to engage with their civil organizations, advocating for positive change, or against negative impacts; they participate in civic meetings, and some even run for office in order to have a professional responsibility to their community. Our fundamental goal of democracy is to expand the engagement and active participation to every person.

Contemporaneously, the internet has provided a platform for immediate and global access to information and people. An increasing majority of people carry a web integrated, sensor laden, geolocated mobile computer that makes this access ubiquitous and pervasive. Whether merely reading or actively publishing information, we have an unprecedented ability to interact with both our physical and digital worlds in coordination – essentially integrating our neighborhoods with realtime and historical data about us and our communities.

One of the primary roles of government historically has been to gather resources in order to build physical infrastructure such as roads, parks, and buildings such that communities and commerce can grow and flourish. Increasingly, a new role is for government to provide a digital public infrastructure, one which supports access to information, in order to improve the efficiency of government operations as well as enable more meaningful decisions by constituents. More than just websites, new digital services are more responsive, scalable, and optimistically more effective in serving people’s needs. Combined with open data, information analysis tools, and online forums.

Cub Scout Joshua Perry prepares to collect sales information using Collector for ArcGIS.

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Crowd Sourcing Apps Whittle Away at Huge Data Projects

Dilapidated and vacant buildings in a city are a blight that not only distresses the urban landscape but causes health problems, decreases property values, and attracts criminal elements. Before managing urban blight, cities need to know where it is. Understanding a problem is half way to solving it. New Orleans is asking its community to participate in an urban blight data collection process by simply using an app that shows building photos and asks a few survey questions about the condition of the property.

New Orleans is using the app to collect data about the status of the city’s 150,000 properties. To get started, staff drove every street of the city capturing photos of each building with two consumer grade cameras with wide angle lenses, which they bought from the local tech store. They also had an integrated GPS that tagged the location to each photo taken. They then uploaded the pictures to a data layer and joined them to corresponding parcel location data.

The city did not have the resources to actually complete the survey for these properties, so it asked Esri to build a crowd sourcing solution. Esri created the Photo Survey app, which any local government can use to publish street-level photo collections. Now citizens can become involved in the community project by accessing the app, answering the questions, and clicking send to add the information to the Photo Survey data layer on the server.

In just one month people had joined in the project and completed 16,000 surveys. The simple 10 second survey is easy.  Answer these six questions: 1) Is there a structure on the property? 2) Is the lot overgrown? 3) Is there apparent damage to the siding or walls? 4) is there apparent damage to the windows or doors? 5) Is there damage to the roof? 6) What’s the foundation type?

Very easy to use crowd sourcing apps encourage citizens to participate in a community project

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Mapping an Opioid Addiction Community Intervention Plan

In the US, drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death, with opioid addiction driving the epidemic. Opioids include both legal drugs, used for pain relief, and illegal drugs like heroin. These drugs are highly addictive, and anyone from any walk of life can become dependent on them. In 2014, more than 29,000 opioid related deaths occurred in the US.

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Engaging the People of New Orleans with GIS

Monday, August 29 marks the 11 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the costliest disaster in American history. And while the category five storm caused unprecedented damage, the community has rebuilt the destroyed infrastructure, and has also taken new steps forward technologically.

The city of New Orleans now uses GIS extensively, and incorporates Esri’s ArcGIS platform into a series of enterprise applications. These help the public stay informed as well as enabling them to participate in making their city a better, safer place to live.

For instance, a new website called Where Y’at, is allowing citizens to access public data as easily as any common search engine.  By typing in their address, people can find up-to-date information about property boundaries, garbage, and recycling pick-up days, polling locations, district representation, and more.

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New Orleans at Esri UC – a Behind the Scenes Look and Repeatable Solutions

This year the City of New Orleans showcased their great work at the Esri User Conference Plenary. A major theme of their presentation was citizen engagement and creating a real two-way engagement enabling citizens to take in civic responsibility. New Orleans is doing outstanding work, and all of the solutions are configurations that can be repeated for any local government.

The first demonstration was the Property Survey solution in which we have enlisted User Conference attendees to help survey their properties for blight at https://propertysurvey.nola.gov/photosurvey/ This solution can be useful for a variety of applications such as code enforcement, emergency management assessment or tax appraisers. The Photo Survey Solution from the Esri Solutions gallery will allow you to process geo-tagged photos and an application to set up randomized surveys as New Orleans has done. Since 16,000 UC attendees were enlisted to help assess properties and shared on social media, Esri Managed Services was used to make sure the underlying infrastructure was ready for reliability and scalability.

New Orleans Property Survey

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Can Government Improve Its Image?

Restoring trust in government

The growing distrust and poor image associated with government continue. As a result, I see citizens asking more and more questions of their government and wanting leaders to hear their voices. The citizens I hear are speaking loudly and growing in number. They want to know how their tax dollars are being allocated. They want to find out if corruption in a neighboring jurisdiction is also happening in their backyards. In the absence of effective government forums, disruptive apps are providing a place for these citizens to communicate with each other. Continue reading

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Improving Government Transparency and Accountability

Born out of the Gov 2.0 movement, the terms transparency and accountability have become part of the daily vernacular of governments and the citizens they serve. One might even suggest these words have become a new expectation of governing. Transparency and accountability began with a simple concept of openly communicating public policy to the taxpayer. Today, these concepts are thriving within a growing emphasis on developing an interactive dialog between governments and the people.

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