Code for America Brigades Civic Tech Webinar – Watch the Video

On Wednesday, February 3, OpenDataSoft hosted the second installment of our new webinar series! The conversation was centered on civic technology and open data, and featured three Code for America Brigade captains discussing their projects. Watch the video of this Civic Tech Webinar here!

Civic Tech Webinar – the video summary

Mr. Jim Van Fleet kicked the conversation off (7:24), speaking about Code for Charlotte’s Citygram project. Citygram is a portal that, when people sign up, sends text message alerts or emails to residents of a city about what’s going on in their area. A platform connected to an Open Data platform, it is, in Jim’s words, an example of how open data is “useable by the people.”

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Expanding on the Citygram project, Mr. Robert Campbell from Code for Cary followed Mr. Van Fleet and spoke about how Citygram grew outside of Charlotte into a regional instance serving the Research Triangle (21:05). The Code for Cary Team, in partnership with Code for Raleigh and Code for Durham, succeeded in federating datasets from their three open data portals, to serve the people across the Triangle. He also spoke on Code for Cary’s Development Mapping project, along with a map useful for historical preservation cases.

Mr. Chris Mathews of Code for Raleigh wrapped up the conversation (33:20) by talking about Code for Raleigh’s project with the LIVES (Local Inspector Value-Entry Specification) data standard, to create a food inspection dashboard in Wake County. Thanks to the OpenDataSoft Platform’s ability to keep all the data in its original format, the Brigade spent only three to four hours combining the datasets in across Wake County into a searchable and interactive dashboard. This dashboard is automatically updated each morning without human intervention, through the same files that are linked to Yelp.

Special Thanks to our Speakers

We would like to thank our speakers once again for their participation. Please read below for more information on our presenters:

1. Jim Van Fleet

In addition to being a leader of the software development community in Charlotte, Jim Van Fleet is a Principal Consultant at Levvel, a software consultancy. His previous efforts include Charlotte Startup Weekend, PitchBreakfast, and a tech startup community newsletter that grew to 1500 subscribers. He has been programming computers professionally for over 15 years and has degrees in Computer Science and Managerial Studies from Rice University.

2. Robert Campbell

Robert is the Senior Staff Software QA Engineer at Charles Schwab, and proudly serves as a data analyst for his local Code for America brigade in Cary, North Carolina. Code for Cary is currently working on developing an application to map commercial construction sites in Cary, based on contractor building permit data.

3. Chris Mathews

Chris is the Senior DBA for the Wake County Government. He volunteers his time with his local Code for America brigade in Raleigh, North Carolina. Chris has helped develop the Pulse Point Integration for the Research Triangle (alerting nearby CPR-certified citizens of emergencies), and is currently working on a method for anticipating and detecting outbreaks of food-borne illness using open data.

4. Ian Henshaw

Ian is the OpenDataSoft Business Development Manager for the US market. A technology evangelist and civic activist, he has been working in the Open Data arena as a member of the Open Data Institute, for which he is a registered trainer, as well as for a world-wide open data services company. He is very active with Code for America as a brigade captain of Code for Cary. In his spare time, Ian organizes and participates in civic and corporate hackathons.

Don’t forget! OpenDataSoft offers a free portal for Code for America Brigades and Code for All Partners. Get yours today, and start playing with your data!


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