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The City of Portland, Oregon

Office of Management & Finance

Bureau of Technology Services

BTS HelpDesk: 503-823-5199

1120 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 1111, Portland, OR 97204

CivicApps

image of CivicApps logoCivicApps For Greater Portland is an open data program targeting regional open datasets and community sourced applications. The City of Portland was one of only three U.S. cities to enact an open data policy before the federal Open Government Directive.

CivicApps.org is an open data portal and collaboration platform used to facilitate ongoing conversations between residents, local businesses, and local government surrounding the coalescing of ideas, data, and applications to solve community issues.

CivicApps.org was the first (and only, perhaps) multi-jurisdictional data portal containing open data from the City of Portland, Metro, TriMet, the State of Oregon, Portland Public Schools, Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties.

 

CivicApps Partner Logos

 

Background

CivicApps.org was a quick follow-on program to the City of Portland's commitment to open data, open standards, and use of open source software in the form of City Council resolution #36735, passed in the Fall of 2009.  Despite the city of San Francisco laying claim in the months following, the City of Portland was actually the first major metropolitan government to pledge its support for this worthy cause.

CivicApps.org was an early entrant into the overall trend for increased demand of open data, where the City announced the release of over 100 datasets from several jurisdictions including the City of Portland, Metro, TriMet, and others. This further positioned the City of Portland as the only city offering interjurisdictional open datasets in the United States. Included in the datasets released was information regarding crime, building permits, parks, transportation and liquor license applications, and more.

In order to democratize this open data for the greatest benefit to the community, the City of Portland launched the CivicApps for Greater Portland campaign, an annual open source design collaboration event. CivicApps for Greater Portland continues to seek and showcase regional open data and promote collaboration between government and residents in creating “apps” that address civic issues for the benefit of the Greater Portland community. Beginning in March 2010, CivicApps for Greater Portland has brought together the best and brightest the community had to offer, both in terms of resident's ideas and application developers to use the newly available data in interesting and informative ways.

To maximize participation among the community and local developers, the CivicApps event included two separate phases: Idea Gathering and Application Development. The phases of the events were separate with separate prize awards for the Ideas Challenge and Apps Challenge portions of the event. The Ideas Challenge began with the launch of the site and did not have a design component. Instead it adhered to the theory that you don’t need to be a developer to have a great idea for an app!  In fact, the first application development contest proved so successful (with the submission of ~25 apps), the City held another contest in the Fall of 2010 to top over 40 app submissions.  Many of which are still in use today.

Please see civicapps.org for more information.