App Chat: May 6, 2015

May 6, 2015 9:41 am PST | Data Apps & Visualization, Data as a Service

Today, we discuss five apps that capture and leverage government open data for citizens to efficiently drive value in their everyday lives. Read about how open data can help you grow a business, or perform a civic duty to make your community safer. In this week’s App Chat, we highlight apps that make us feel good about how open data improves communities and economies globally.

1. Adopt a Siren and Tsunami

Hawaii made siren testing a community effort. Adopt a Siren increases productivity and efficiency for government siren tests across Honolulu. Good samaritans pledge to listen for the siren at the time of the test and report any problems they hear, or don’t. The feedback from citizens projects onto Adopt a Siren’s website and alerts all citizens of any defective sirens in the area. This app enforces the message that safety is the state’s number one priority for its citizens. Check out Adopt a Siren.

A siren goes off, now what? Use the Tsunami app (developed by the City and County of Honolulu) to discover the nearest tsunami evacuation zones, communicate with loved ones, and remain safe when unexpected weather is brewing. Citizens say it’s a “must-have for every iPhone in Hawaii,” as time is of the essence when any natural disaster strikes. Check out Tsunami.

2. Access Map

It is hard enough to find an efficient route to work in the morning. Dodging traffic and mapping public transit can be mundane tasks of their own.  These challenges increase for those who face mobility challenges as they navigate the city daily, whether it be on wheels or on crutches. Access Map recently won Hack the Commute, a hackathon put on by the City of Seattle to find solutions for civic issues. By pulling sidewalk data from the city of Seattle, Google Maps for elevation information, and the OneBusAway app for a look into bus routes, Access Map can present the most convenient and safe route for those who need it. 

Check out Access Map

3. City-Data

If you want to move to a new city, it’s important to know the stats. By stats we mean school quality, percentage of families in the area, median household income, and average climate, just to name a few. City-Data combines this info and hundreds of other data pieces sorted by state, city, and neighborhood. These informative city profiles are an ideal resource for citizens researching a new home.

Check out City-Data

4. Small Business Toolbox

A wide range of resources are available to small business owners through the government, but it is a time commitment to sort them all out. Small Business Toolbox provides a one-stop shop for any permits, grants, licenses, and programs for small businesses. In the toolbox you’ll find checklists to assure you have met all requirements to run a business ethically and legally, which makes this app a vital cornerstone for any workflow of a business owner.

Check out Small Business Toolbox

5. SB Alert

You’ve set your workflow in stone, now it’s time to generate business. Let the power of open data prospect new clients for your small business. SB Alert (Small Business Alert) transforms profitable opportunities into push notifications to your phone. Input your speciality into the app, whether it be health care technology, software, or biomedical technologies. When a contract opportunity becomes available, SB Alert will notify you and virtually grow your business one prospect at a time.

Check out SB Alert

We’d love to start a conversation about open data apps and how they change your world. Have any open data apps that you think others would benefit from? Comment below and they may be featured in next month’s App Chat.

Want more? Download the Getting Started with Open Data Guide.



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