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CalGIS 2015: People and Practice, The Changing role of GIS and Civic Technology in 2015


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Opening keynote address to CalGIS 2015 on behalf of Code for America titled Peoeple and Practice: The changing role of GIS professionals and civic tech in 2015

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CalGIS 2015: People and Practice, The Changing role of GIS and Civic Technology in 2015

  1. 1. #CalGIS2015 People and Practice: The changing role of GIS and civic technology in 2015
  2. 2. Alicia Rouault Code for America Urban Planner & Civic Technologist @arouault | @codeforamerica
  3. 3. We live in an increasingly digital world.
  4. 4. What role can GIS professionals play in an increasingly digital world?
  5. 5. What can civic technologists and GIS experts learn from each other? 
  6. 6. 1. digital revolution 2. civic technology 3. role of GIS
  7. 7. 21st century cities
  8. 8. More data than ever before.
  9. 9. Increasingly web-based and mobile
  10. 10. Citizens expect greater transparency and better civic engagement.
  11. 11. 14 Code for America
  12. 12. governments technologists
  13. 13. Code for America is a national non-profit leading the field of “civic technology”
  14. 14. Photo by Daniel X. O'Neil
  15. 15. User centered design users should have a voice in the creation of technologies
  16. 16. Interfaces to government can be simple, beautiful, and easy to use.
  17. 17. 1. Design for people's needs 2. Make it easy for everyone to participate 3. Focus on what government can do 4. Make data easy to find and use 5. Use data to make and improve decisions 6. Choose the right technology for the job 7. Organize for results Principles for 21st Century Government
  18. 18. 21
  19. 19. How might we make this easy for the community to help?
  20. 20. Adopt-a helped cities see what’s possible — from Boston to Honolulu
  21. 21. Though most CfA applications have geospatial components, very few of our programmers have ever used traditional GIS
  22. 22. “How to Lie with Maps” c. 1996
  23. 23. 29 GIS behind the scenes: apps powered by geospatial data, that just don’t look like maps.
  24. 24. transit apps location services
  25. 25. web mapping desktop GIS overlays browser- based analysis trajectory of GIS technology
  26. 26. historically, GIS has embraced programming in spatial analysis, now just begun to use, teach and build new web-based mapping tools.
  27. 27. GIS professionals are also great data stewards who create something sorely needed in civic tech today: Metadata
  28. 28. 35
  29. 29. 36 We make maps :) We make maps, too!
  30. 30. What can we learn from one another?
  31. 31. Who (and what) is a civic technologist? The face of civic technology
  32. 32. Nick Doiron “Civic Hacker” aka Nick Mapmeld @mapmeld
  33. 33. 40 Van Gogh Map - powered by MapBox's WebGL API (MoMA)
  34. 34. 41 Boston Greenway Map - custom Boston basemap
  35. 35. 15,000 Brigade members worldwide
  36. 36. 43
  37. 37. 44
  38. 38. Massachusetts State Plan Coordinate System NAD 83 geoJSON WGS84
  39. 39. 47 GeoJson & Github
  40. 40. 50
  41. 41. 51
  42. 42. 52
  43. 43. Open data helps make government better. Governments hold a lot of information that is valuable — and sometimes critically important — to residents, organizations, companies, and government itself Make data easy to find and use
  44. 44. #1. Data Stewardship Civic technologists showed what’s possible online, GIS experts made this work accurate and sustainable.
  45. 45. Civic Tech Story LocalData: Bridging the world of civic tech and GIS
  46. 46. Blight in Detroit
  47. 47. Karla Henderson, Director of Buildings and Safety
  48. 48. Karla’s GIS data production problem
  49. 49. Neighborhood-based parallels
  50. 50. How can we involve residents to improve vacancy data, quickly?
  52. 52. 1. Uses existing GIS workflows and data formats 2. Design a collection interface that didn’t require GIS expertise
  53. 53. Existing, official parcel data as a base map for collection
  54. 54. Officials, academics and data advocates trained residents on quality data collection
  55. 55. Residents and preservationists mapped thousands of parcels
  56. 56. Data was easily exported into existing formats (shapefiles) and served through an API
  57. 57. And the data was used by the GIS department to set demolition priorities
  58. 58. Make it easy for everyone to participate Serving everyone means working with, not just for, a true cross-section of the community. Governments should proactively collaborate with the community and seek participation from all residents in decisions that affect them.
  59. 59. #2. User-centered Design Tools influenced by existing GIS workflows can increase accessibility and participation.
  60. 60. Government Story: SimpliCity: Simplifying city data in Asheville
  61. 61. Making SimpliCity has been a lean operation and much of the time has been spent on usability testing; skills we've picked up from CfA.” Jonathan Feldman, CIO, Asheville, North Carolina “
  62. 62. Governments that use “human-centered design practices” make it a priority in any project to conduct research with residents to inform a better picture of who they are, what they need, and how they behave. Designing for people’s needs
  63. 63. #3. Communicate in new ways Present information in the language of the people you serve.
  64. 64. Regional Government Story: Vital Signs: Making open data meaningful
  65. 65. Modern technology tools and approaches helps government build trust with their communities and better address the challenges they face. Choose the right technology for the job
  66. 66. #4. Provide context to data Information and maps are useful communication devices, the web requires context to make this information meaningful.
  67. 67. Takeaways
  68. 68. Technologists can show what’s possible. Civic technologists excel at creating things quickly and putting them up on the web. They’re not so good at data stewardship or maintaining agreed upon geospatial conventions.
  69. 69. GIS professionals understand how government works. The day-to-day insight of working inside government as a data professional. Special insight into what is actually needed.
  70. 70. New tools need a louder GIS perspective. Though new tools are being created by so!ware developers outside of the GIS space, there is an opportunity to become more involved in the broader civic technology space.
  71. 71. Context is key. Without context around data and maps online, information can become meaningless on the web.
  72. 72. Share your spatial wisdom. There is a huge opportunity to share what you know with members outside your community.
  73. 73. so, let’s build a bridge? Civic technologists are naturally adapted to both care about public sector problems, use and support the use of large datasets and also make maps. Get to know one.
  74. 74. thank you! @arouault @codeforamerica