Pulse


Pulse

By GCN Staff


LinkNYC cuts off browsing on curbside kiosks

LinkNYC cuts off browsing on curbside kiosks

Web browsing on New York City’s new curbside internet hotspots has been suspended.

According to a statement by LinkNYC, the free web browsing will be disabled on the kiosks because “some users have been monopolizing the Link tablets and using them inappropriately, preventing others from being able to use them while frustrating the residents and businesses around them.” The other features – the free phone calls, maps, device charging, and access to 311 and 911 -- will continue to be available, the company said.

The web browsing feature was suspended eight months after the first kiosks were installed to provide free, high-speed Wi-Fi via 7,500 stations across the five boroughs by 2020.

Posted on Sep 15, 2016 at 1:05 PM0 comments


California launches open source data portal

California launches open source data portal

California has launched a new open source, open data portal with 24 datasets that include information on the economy, transportation, water and other areas of interest for citizens and researchers.

The portal, data.ca.gov, runs on DKAN, an open-source data management platform built by Nücivic, a New York-based software company. The tool is based on Drupal’s CMS and allows the user to decide what visualizations to show and create groups to organize data. DKAN was chosen after a competitive bidding process, according to Lynda Gledhill, a spokesperson for the California Government Operations Agency.

The Department of Technology’s Office of Digital Innovation will be running the data portal operations.

“This effort represents the next logical step in our open data work,” recently appointed Chief Data Officer Zachary Townsend said. “DKAN is not just an open source solution; it’s the best tool we’ve found to support our efforts to make the state’s data assets more accessible through visual, compelling stories.”

Posted on Sep 07, 2016 at 1:52 PM0 comments


Texas taps app for reporting alcohol violations

Texas taps app for reporting alcohol violations

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has released a mobile app that lets users not only search the agency’s entire public data system but also submit complaints they see in businesses licensed by the TABC.

The TABC:Mobile app uses GPS technology identify nearby TABC-licensed bars or restaurants. Users can view a location's license/permit status and expiration date as well as its Handgun Warning Sign requirement. Violation information, if applicable, displays by status, type, date, description, disposition, suspension date range and civil penalty amounts.

The app also includes information about the responsibilities of license/permit holders for the public, government agencies, alcoholic beverage industry professionals, wholesalers, distributors and retailers.

"TABC:Mobile serves as a direct line of communication between TABC and the public from anywhere at any time," TABC spokesman Chris Porter said. "It's our hope that this new tool will keep those lines of communication open while promoting the safe and lawful sale of alcohol in Texas."

Neubus Inc., an Austin-based technology company, helped build the application, according to The Texas Tribune. Neubus works with government agencies to help convert documents to electronic systems, according to its website.

Posted on Aug 30, 2016 at 1:36 PM0 comments


Electronic tolling set go live in Massachusetts

Electronic tolling set go live in Massachusetts

Taking another step toward all-electronic tolling (AET), Massachusetts announced its system would go live on Oct. 28 and made plans to completely demolish toll plazas along the Massachusetts Turnpike, the Tobin Bridge and Boston tunnels by the end of 2017. 

Gantries have been installed and equipped with sensors that will electronically register toll charges as vehicles pass under them. For vehicles with E-ZPass transponders, the toll will be automatically charged to the owner’s E-ZPass account. For those without an E-ZPass transponder, cameras mounted on the gantry will photograph the vehicle’s license plate and the registered owner will be sent an invoice.

AET data will be protected under the same law that covers the existing E-ZPass system, and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is in discussions with public safety officials about the very limited circumstances in which an  AET-generated “hot hist” or other information could be used in the case of public safety emergencies. 

Raytheon won the contract for the AET system in 2014.

Posted on Aug 29, 2016 at 11:00 AM0 comments


Harrisburg PA

Pennsylvania wades into open data

Pennsylvania launched its open data portal with 12 datasets  --  the foundation of the state’s central repository for open data in a machine-readable format.

The data currently available on OpenDataPA supports Gov. Tom Wolf’s three governing objectives -- education, employment and government services --  includes prison population numbers, school performance profiles and summary information on well inspections. The state also plans to release datasets from other state agencies on the site.

The portal is built on the Socrata cloud platform, which also supports open data sites for Colorado, Missouri, Illinois and other states, and local and federal government agencies, including those of the White House and San Francisco.

The administration’s main goals for releasing this data is three-fold: accountability, modernization and innovation.  The portal will allow citizens to keep track of government projects, find this information in one place and use if to “make data-driven decisions.”

Posted on Aug 26, 2016 at 11:07 AM0 comments