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While working with many cities toward an open standard for 311 services, it became clear that the distributed model of civic web services had many implications.
In an effort to make the user experience of civic applications location agnostic, a model for a GeoWeb DNS service was created. The Open311 implementation of GeoWeb DNS is based partly on traditional DNS systems, but a closer analogy is the process of reverse-geocoding an address. In this case, a coordinate is sent and a URI is returned. This model is being applied to Open311 to demonstrate how many municipalities can be connected as one platform. However, nothing about this is unique to 311 services, it can also be used to connect locations using other standards and web services.
With the further establishment of open standards and the ability for applications to query location-specific services, municipal governments can be more interactive, provide better services, and act as innovative hubs in the emerging GeoWeb. Open standards and increased interoperability also lay the groundwork for a rich ecosystem of open source software which in-turn spreads new technology and cost-savings. However, local governments must collaborate and cooperate with one another in order to achieve these benefits.
The U.S. government provided us with GPS and many of the core foundations of the web (including early DNS), can many governing bodies now work together to provide improved local services and the foundations of an interoperable GeoWeb?
This talk will examine case-studies like Open311 and look at broader initiatives like GeoWeb DNS to help answer these questions.
Phil is the Open Government Program Manager at OpenPlans, a non-profit organization that develops technology and media to improve civic services, urban livability, and local democracy. Phil’s specific focus is to facilitate collaboration between cities on the development of open standards and best practices around open government initiatives. Recently Phil has been helping to direct and mediate the development of the Open311 standard so that cities can leverage web enabled 311 services in an open and interoperable way.