World Justice Project (WJP) Open Government Index

“The World Justice Project (WJP) Open Government Index™ provides scores and rankings on four dimensions of government openness: publicized laws and government data, right to information, civic participation, and complaint mechanisms (full descriptions below). Scores are based on responses to household surveys and in-country expert questionnaires collected for the WJP Rule of Law Index. The […]

Mobile Spans Language Gap to Aid Human Trafficking Victims

Aida Akl at VOATechTonics: “A mobile solution from the Mekong Club, a non-profit group dedicated to fighting slavery, helps identify potential trafficking victims among populations where the person’s country of origin and language is unknown, and lets law enforcement agencies communicate with them. The Android app was the product of collaboration between the Mekong Club, […]

Why Google’s Waze Is Trading User Data With Local Governments

Parmy Olson at Forbes: “In Rio de Janeiro most eyes are on the final, nail-biting matches of the World Cup. Over in the command center of the city’s department of transport though, they’re on a different set of screens altogether. Planners there are watching the aggregated data feeds of thousands of smartphones being walked or […]

Growing Data Collection Inspires Openness at NGA

Steven Aftergood at Secrecy News: “A flood of information from the ongoing proliferation of space-based sensors and ground-based data collection devices is promoting a new era of transparency in at least one corner of the U.S. intelligence community. The “explosion” of geospatial information “makes geospatial intelligence increasingly transparent because of the huge number and diversity […]

Methods to Protect and Secure “Big Data” May Be Unknowingly Corrupting Research

New paper by John M. Abowd and Ian M. Schmutte: “…As the government and private companies increase the amount of data made available for public use (e.g. Census data, employment surveys, medical data), efforts to protect privacy and confidentiality (through statistical disclosure limitation or SDL) can often cause misleading and compromising effects on economic research […]

Using Innovation and Technology to Improve City Services

New report from the IBM Center for the Business of Government: “In this report, Professor Greenberg examines a dozen cities across the United States that have award-winning reputations for using innovation and technology to improve the services they provide to their residents. She explores a variety of success factors associated with effective service delivery at […]

New Desktop Application Has Potential to Increase Asteroid Detection, Now Available to Public

NASA Press Release: “A software application based on an algorithm created by a NASA challenge has the potential to increase the number of new asteroid discoveries by amateur astronomers. Analysis of images taken of our solar system’s main belt asteroids between Mars and Jupiter using the algorithm showed a 15 percent increase in positive identification […]

The perils of extreme democracy

The Economist: “California cannot pass timely budgets even in good years, which is one reason why its credit rating has, in one generation, fallen from one of the best to the absolute worst among the 50 states. How can a place which has so much going for it—from its diversity and natural beauty to its […]

Mission Control: A History of the Urban Dashboard

Shannon Mattern at Places: “We know what rocket science looks like in the movies: a windowless bunker filled with blinking consoles, swivel chairs, and shirt-sleeved men in headsets nonchalantly relaying updates from “Houston” to outer space. Lately, that vision of Mission Control has taken over City Hall. NASA meets Copacabana, proclaimed the New York Times, […]

Why governments need guinea pigs for policies

Jonathan Breckon in the Guardian:”People are unlikely to react positively to the idea of using citizens as guinea pigs; many will be downright disgusted. But there are times when government must experiment on us in the search for knowledge and better policy…. Though history calls into question the ethics of experimentation, unless we try things […]