By GCN Staff


DOT's 2015 transportation infrastructure data now available

The 2015 National Transportation Atlas Databases are now available for download. The data provides geographic-based details for more than 500,000 miles of roadway, 610,000 bridges and 19,527 airports. New highway crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also in the mix.

This year’s datasets cover 36 data themes with 57 data layers. The NTAD sets are available in open shapefile format with  metadata documentation supported by most GIS software.

Posted on Jul 31, 2015 at 1:01 PM0 comments

NYC kicks off annual BigApps competition

NYC kicks off annual BigApps competition

New York City recently opened this year’s NYC BigApps competition for  mobile and web apps, connected devices, platforms, games and other technology products that can make New York a better place by addressing affordable housing, zero waste, connected cities or civic engagement.

To support app developers, the competition provides access to more than 1,000 public data sets on the NYC OpenData Portal, as well as data and APIs from dozens of private and academic partners. In addition, each challenge category is being supported by a group of city agencies, civic organizations and companies that will help teams ideate, design and build their products by hosting mentor office hours, events and tours.

All project submissions are due by Oct. 14. A panel of evaluators will choose up to 20 finalists, and the winners will be announced in December.

Originally launched in 2009, NYC BigApps has helped create over 500 apps and other tech products and has engaged more than 500,000 New Yorkers.

Posted on Jul 30, 2015 at 1:24 PM0 comments

Need to know if your neighbor's a felon? In Tennessee, there's an app for that

The Tennessee Department of Correction has launched a Felony Offender Search app that lets citizens look up information about past and present felons in the state from their mobile devices.

The app’s web-based companion, Felony Offender Information Look Up, is one of the state’s most used online services, with 2.5 million searches in 2014. With nearly a third of TN.gov visitors using mobile devices, state officials decided creating a mobile version of the program was an opportunity to deliver a more customer-focused tool for citizens.

Users can access an offender’s current status, location, sentencing dates and parole eligibility, and even create their own lists for faster access to information about specific offenders.

The Tennessee Felony Offender Search mobile app is available for free for both Apple and Android users.

Posted on Jul 30, 2015 at 11:41 AM0 comments

Military boosts bandwidth with satellite launch

Military boosts bandwidth with satellite launch

The military and its partners can expect  a nearly 20 percent boost in secure communications bandwidth, thanks to the launch of WGS-7, Boeing’s latest Wideband Global SATCOM satellite.

Boeing is contracted to deliver 10 WGS satellites in all to the U.S. Air Force, and promises even greater bandwidth improvements. Starting with WGS-8, which is slated for a late-2016 launch, each wideband satellite will include a Next Generation Wideband Digital Channelizer, which will provide a more than 90 percent improvement in available satellite bandwidth. The first six WGS satellites are on-orbit and performing as expected, and Boeing said WGS-7 "sent its first successful signals soon after being launched" on July 22.

These satellites, which enable streaming and two-way video, are also capable of providing anti-jamming to soldiers around the world in highly contested areas.  “WGS has the ability to shape some of its beams to a specific communications area on the globe," said Mark Spiwak, president of Boeing Satellite Systems International.  "It also has the ability to move and pivot its communications beams to be able to follow communications users or to avoid jamming."

Posted on Jul 29, 2015 at 9:28 AM0 comments

Boston commits $3.5 million to next-generation firewall

Boston commits $3.5 million to next-generation firewall

Boston has never had a large-scale data breach or cyberattack, but the city is not waiting around for it to happen.

In an effort to defend against future attacks, the city is committing $3.5 million to develop a next-generation firewall system. The firewall will be ready by the end of the year, according to the Boston Herald, but the plan is to continue to bolster security efforts through 2020.

In addition to the firewall, the city is also preparing for contingencies that could threaten systems and utilities – like the loss of power that led to parts of the Boston Fire Department network going offline. Backup generators prevented the power loss from becoming serious.

“There’s a lot of ongoing work that we have around identifying any place within our technology infrastructure where we think we have got a vulnerability or a system that we don’t think has the right kind of redundancy,” Jascha Franklin-Hodge, Boston’s CIO, told the Herald.

Posted on Jul 28, 2015 at 6:53 AM0 comments