Category: Government

MERCI Emergency Assessment App Opens Up

MERCI Emergency Assessment App Opens Up

Last year, Hawaii-based consulting engineering firm Oceanit showed off an iPhone app that it had developed to help Hawaii State Civil Defense speed up disaster documentation. Dubbed MERCI, or Mobile Emergency Response and Command Interface, the app is designed to facilitate rapid assessments following a natural disaster, allowing responders to collect text...

City Launches Open Data Portal

City Launches Open Data Portal

The new Data.Honolulu.gov site takes the city’s transparency efforts “to the next level,” expanding upon the “CAN-DO” portal it unveiled last March.

Honolulu Grows App Offerings

Honolulu Grows App Offerings

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle has directed all city department and agency heads to support its open data initatives. And now, Honolulu’s engagement with the national “Code For America” program has now brought three new web apps for citizens.

State Preps IT Coalition, Open Data Platform

State Preps IT Coalition, Open Data Platform

On Friday, State CIO Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia and the Office of the Governor called together several community stakeholders to update them on their ongoing initiative to transform government. The presentation came just as the state selected Socrata for its open data platform. Contrasted against the passage of SB2858, it made...

Sunlight Foundation Shines on Hawaii

Sunlight Foundation Shines on Hawaii

On Wednesday, the first local meetup of the Sunlight Foundation community will be held at Yogur Story . Pulled together by  Burt Lum, my fellow open government advocate and long-time partner in geekery, the gathering will bring together like-minded folks to discuss how technology new thinking can make government more transparent and...

Hawaii Innovation Alliance Launched

Hawaii Innovation Alliance Launched

On the national front, we had the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA), beaten back by a massive groundswell of opposition from major internet firms and grassroots geeks alike. Here in Hawaii, a proposed law that would have required internet service providers to track and save user data for two years...

New Apps Unveiled at the City’s First Hackathon

New Apps Unveiled at the City’s First Hackathon

A total of six teams participated in Honolulu’s first civic hackathon this past weekend, each developing anapplication that takes advantage of public data made available online by the city. The top three teams won cash prizes provided by the hackathon’s sponsors, and two of them focused on TheBus and its web...

Gov. Abercrombie on Open Data

Gov. Abercrombie on Open Data

Gov. Neil Abercrombie yesterday delivered his second “State of the State” address before the Legislature. And technology was one of the priorities he singled out as key to the state’s long-term future. He mentioned the Hawaii Broadband Initiative, consolidation of disparate state systems under the Office of Information Management and Technology,...

On to the Hackathon, Maps at the Ready

On to the Hackathon, Maps at the Ready

This year is looking to be a big year in open data, e-democracy, and Gov 2.0. More information is coming online, and more people are thinking of ways to use it. Among the most interesting areas is in mapping and location-based applications.

CityCamp Honolulu Advances Open Government Vision

CityCamp Honolulu Advances Open Government Vision

Nearly 150 people — including both city and state government officials and employees, as well as local programmers, designers, artists, and activists — were drawn to CityCamp Honolulu on Saturday. Even though it was the weekend, and even though there was a UH home game on the calendar, it was heartening to...

Ready for APEC, But Just Barely

Ready for APEC, But Just Barely

After nearly two years of planning and preparations, APEC is finally landing in Honolulu. This week’s events brings government leaders from around the world (including Punahou grad and U.S. President Barack Obama) to the Aloha State. That definitely means heightened security (which will disrupt traffic and other aspects of everyday...

Class on Social Media in Disaster Response Previewed

Class on Social Media in Disaster Response Previewed

A federal program to train government employees, first responders, and other disaster response personnel in the use of services like Twitter and Facebook got its first trial run yesterday. The Hawaii-based National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC) held a pilot demonstration of its course titled “Social Media for Natural Disaster...

City Launches Transparency Portal

City Launches Transparency Portal

As an advocate for free access to government data, I was glad to hear about the City and County of Honolulu’s newly launched online transparency initiative, “Citizens Analyzing Numbers Discover Opportunity” (or CAN-DO). Indeed, based on the “About” and “FAQ” pages, the CAN-DO site seems to demonstrate a clear understanding...

Journalist Shield Law Extension Advances

Journalist Shield Law Extension Advances

The House Judiciary Committee today unanimously voted to advance a bill that would remove the sunset provision in Hawaii’s so-called “Journalist Shield Law,” otherwise known as Act 210 (HB2557) from the 2008 Legislative session. The law gives the press (“journalists and newscasters”) some protections against being forced to reveal sources...

City Salaries and Civil Beat

City Salaries and Civil Beat

Today, Honolulu Civil Beat continued its coverage of government transparency and public worker salaries with its latest data set: employees of the City & County of Honolulu. As in the past, the data isn’t entirely easy to access, so as before, a friend has helped me make most of it freely...

Adventures in Open Data

Adventures in Open Data

Local news startup Civil Beat today posted a piece on the names and salaries of state House and Senate members and staff. As before, they posted a watermarked PDF on Slideshare with the download feature disabled, and invited people to become “full members” to use their searchable database. But if...

Hawaii Roads Ranked Among Worst in Nation

Hawaii Roads Ranked Among Worst in Nation

“State highway conditions are the best they’ve been in 19 years,” proclaims the Reason Foundation in its 19th Annual Highway Report. Unfortunately, the Aloha State was ranked 47th overall, ahead of only California, Alaska, and Rhode Island. In fact, while Hawaii — perhaps unsurprisingly — has the fewest state-controlled highway...

Data Request Denied, Now Plan B

Data Request Denied, Now Plan B

I had a nice conversation this afternoon with Marie Laderta, director of the state Department of Human Resources Development, in response to my request to secure the same data her office prepared for Civil Beat (and which Civil Beat hid behind its paywall). She was professional, articulate, and demonstrated that...

Hawaii Government Sites Earn National Acclaim

Hawaii Government Sites Earn National Acclaim

Two Hawaii e-government initiatives received national recognition for excellence today. The Center for Digital Government announced the latest Digital Government Achievement Awards and the Best of the Web Awards. The state’s eBench Warrant system received a Digital Government Achievement Award in the Government-to-Government category. Meanwhile, the official site for Maui...