GovFinder App Offers Open Data on the Go
By Patrick Hasseries
Socrata has released its first tablet app, GovFinder, for Windows 8. The app enables users to explore Socrata-hosted data sets and visualize data about their current location into useful maps.
GovFinder currently supports New York, Chicago, and Edmonton, Alberta. Based on what data sets each city has published, the app can help users locate the nearest public health clinic, check neighborhood crime rates, find local baseball stadiums, and more. It also gives them the ability to leave feedback about specific locations and pieces of data.
“Users can add comments to help one another,” says Ben McInnis, Socrata Director of Product Management. “’This is the best tennis court in town,’ things like that. These comments can also help local government representatives, providing them with a new route for collecting public feedback.”
Many Windows 8 app features have been leveraged into GovFinder to create a clean and intuitive user experience. For instance, the app presents data sets using the tile feature and users can pin shortcuts to their favorite data sets right onto their start screens. The app also conforms to the Windows 8 aesthetic, which ensures users will have a seamless, uniform experience across devices.
Future plans for GovFinder include covering more cities as well as adding a host of new features: alerts, location-based services, and more.
“We plan to evolve the app,” says McInnis. “For instance, it might ping you when you enter an area that relates to a data set you’ve expressed an interest in. The City of Seattle maintains a data set of events that could disrupt the normal course of business in the downtown area. So there’s potential for the app to provide alerts like, ‘These streets are closed because of the parade.’”
Download GovFinder for your PC and tablet today. The app will also be available in the Windows Phone store later this month.