How big is government? Well, this survey of local agencies in the US may clarify that for you. The US Census Bureau has just released the data and findings from the 2012 Census of US Governments. The Individual State Descriptions provide the foundation of how government entities are identified and classified for the U.S. Census Bureau statistics on governments. Conducted every five years, the census of governments provides the only uniform source of statistics for all of the nation’s state and local governments.
A fine mainstream media report on a new OpenData resource from Alberta, Canada has surfaced on the CTV (Alberta) web portal. What I like really like about this report is that it is quite accurate and truthful, getting right to the point and describing exactly why opendata is important to users and the business community. The report interviews a local consultant who describes several projects he’s accomplished thanks to the use of new opendata products. Users have already created a couple of apps (nice to see the featured product is a map) and there’s no doubt that many apps and products will follow.
A Government rep admits the data will be difficult to interpret for the average user and that there are about 250 datasets currently available. They do point out that within a year the amount of data available should swell to over 1,000 products. The government focus is to make information public so that developers and the public can innovate and create value from the data after all, that’s really what opendata is meant for!
Here’s details of an interesting technology event scheduled to take place in June in Washington D.C. enter GIS for Government. The event will tackle the topics of funding, interoperability and other pressing matters that government are faced with – expect Big Data, the cloud, OSM, open source and related items to be discussed!
About the event… GIS for Government will bring together 20 speakers to address the latest government challenges, strategies and initiatives in GIS.
Join us at GIS for Government 2013 taking place June 24-26, 2013 in the Washington, DC Metro Area to find out everything you need to know about GIS.
The already data-rich open resource in Oakland is even richer now thanks to the addition of some cool bicycle data… let the hacking and mashing begin! This platform is an open data catalog built by the OpenOakland Brigade as a community resource and this site uses the opensource CKAN platform- the same free software behind the UK government’s Data.Gov.UK resource. This site has been populated with data found on various Oakland Government websites and from the huge data warehouse operated by Urban Strategies Council and it’s public web mapping platform InfoAlamedaCounty.org. New data products include bikeways, signage, parking places and more.
See more at http://data.openoakland.org/en/dataset/bicycle-routes – do you have a favorite, local, opendata resource? Please tell me about it @gletham
An update from FEMA this week… Nation-wide preliminary flood hazard data (preliminary data) issued after April 1, 2013 will be available in one centralized web address, along with effective data. Preliminary data provide an early look at your home or community’s risk to flood hazards. According to FEMA there are many benefits to viewing these data, for more information – Beginning in April 2013, you can access preliminary data directly or go to FEMA’s Map Service Center (MSC) website.
Indeed the budget cuts may run deep as time passes and for many in business, the topic of sequestration is on the mind – no doubt this will also be discussed by many this week at the Esri FEDUC. Harris has recent;y polled Americans on their thoughts regarding budget spending and budget cuts and to no surprise, the poll finds that only rather small minorities of the public want to cut most of the biggest federal government programs. Perhaps the biggest surprise that I see in this is the huge number of those surveyed who favor cuts in spending and funding for business!
Some highlights of the findings… Only 12% of the public want to see a cut in Social Security payments
The 2012 cropland data layer (CDL) product for the Continental United States (CONUS) was released as CropScape (http://nassgeodata.gmu.edu/CropScape) on January 31, 2013. This categorized geospatial product at 30m resolution is produced by U. S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service from satellite observation data and ground truth data. CropScape was developed in cooperation with the Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems at George Mason University, Fairfax, Va. See more details HERE
Here’s an awesome webmap tip to share (courtesy of a tip-off I received via the Esri FB page) the WDOT Seattle Parking map from seattle.gov. This is a handy online resource showing where to park and how much it costs in the City of Seattle. Users will find parking lots, street parking restrictions, rates and more. Additionally, every single parking related street sign is posted on the map – nice! Streets are color coded according to parking style, for example, no parking, unrestricted, time zones, etc… Well done Seattle!
An interesting GIS feature hit the latest edition of American Surveyor Magazine. The article explores how smaller towns and cities have been reluctant to make the move to a GIS, often citing it as both too daunting and far too cost-prohibitive. From the article… As the benefits of a comprehensive GIS effort have become more and more apparent, larger cities and municipal utilities have been steadily getting on board with the technology, citing it as something of a “no-brainer” in terms of better asset availability, increased accuracy, ease of access to information, and so on.
Read on for details of how The City of Troutdale, Oregon (pop 16,000) proved an exception to that rule, embracing the GIS concept early on. The city proved that a City-wide GIS is indeed attainable, manageable and affordable!
A 1.793Mb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE
Looks like a new feature on the robust Data.gov (USA) website, this one enabling users to search for “Ethics” and related data and documents. From Data.gov – Ethics.Data.gov brings records and data from across the federal government to one central location, making it easier for citizens to hold public officials accountable.
The site is starting to get a little “over developed” as there are so many search parameters one can set when looking for data (maps, open data, raw data, metrics etc…) . Explore the Ethics Gov portal at http://explore.data.gov/ethics/