Québec City, QC (PRWEB) February 04, 2014
Civic Dynamics Inc., headquartered in Québec City, Canada, today announced its formation and unveiled its Civic Dynamics Platform (CDP), the first truly dynamic, open-data platform for local governments. CDP's underlying open-source software and supporting systems enable municipalities to publish open government data in a dynamic format that allows citizens to easily view, mix, match and analyze it. The company is a partnership with two U.S. companies, Structured Dynamics, open data and semantic technology experts, and Buzzr, a Drupal-based hosted content management platform for building affordable yet robust websites.
“Civic Dynamics takes open government data to entirely new levels,” said Michael Bergman, CEO of Structured Dynamics. “Citizens need easy tools to analyze the mountains of available open government data. CDP is the first provider of dynamic open data technology that lets citizens see what government data is available, select what’s important to them, analyze it and have a simple mechanism for contributing back their own information and thoughts. It’s truly a dynamic technology for better citizen engagement.”
Many municipalities have joined the growing movement to provide citizens with valuable open government data. However, to date, efforts have focused primarily on cataloging and disseminating data sets – the only way to access it is by downloading entire data sets, without any mechanism for manipulating, searching or sorting the information.
“Unlike academics, professional researchers or analysts, most people don’t have the skills to break apart and analyze datasets,” said Kelly Goldstrand, Director of Business Development for Civic Dynamics. “The next step in the evolution of the open data movement is to provide more than just the data. The power of any data is in the analysis. We must deliver the data along with ‘every day appliances’ that give every citizen, community organization, or lobbying group the ability to tailor the data to address their individual interests. Only then, is the data truly open and available to everyone.”
The Civic Dynamics Platform (CDP) is a proven, open-source, turnkey software framework for managing and publishing open, community data. CDP combines best-of-class open-source software components with open-source documentation. Open-source implementation methodologies and tools mean local governments and related organizations can manage dynamic open data portals on their own. CDP's tight integration of Drupal 7 also means the platform can be extended into or combined with other local government website content management or web portal needs. CDP also works as an effective front-end for community indicator systems or integrated analytical frameworks, proven in the domains of sustainability, economic development, and community involvement.
“With CDP’s charts, tables, graphs, maps, images and stories, you can easily and visually combine any piece of existing data together and study their connectedness,” said Goldstrand. “When viewed in this inter-related way they become a basis for action. The platform also promotes citizen engagement vis-à-vis citizen contributions of data, sharing of community calendar events, commentary and journalism regarding current local issues. It provides a mechanism for citizens to actively participate in developing local community-based solutions.”
“If open data and citizen engagement are to become integral parts of community services, they must be achieved within today’s tight budget constraints,” said Ed Sussman, CEO of Buzzr.com. “Municipal website and web portals that are less expensive to design and implement, and cheaper to maintain, are the best choice for spreading the accessibility of the open data movement.”
In its packaged open-source offering, CDP leverages the tools of:
- Drupal 7, an open-source framework for content management;
- Structured Dynamic’s Open Semantic Framework (OSF) 3.0.;
- MUNI, a basic local government ontology to jump-start a new installation; and
- Buzzr’s All-in-One content management platform, built on Drupal 7, to design, develop and run feature rich websites and mobile sites, including cloud-based hosting and 24x7 support.
Civic Dynamics offers a range of customization, development, and tailoring services to local governments and community organizations.
Two initial flagship installations, powered by pre-release versions of CDP, include:
NOW (Neighbourhoods of Winnipeg; http://now.winnipeg.ca/) – In 2013, the City of Winnipeg, the capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada, released its "NOW" portal, celebrating its 236 diverse, historical neighborhoods. The NOW portal is one of the largest releases of open data by a local government to date, with some 57 varied datasets, ranging from local neighborhood amenities, such as pools and recreation centers, to detailed real estate and economic development information. Nearly one-half million individual web pages comprise the site, driven exclusively by semantic technologies.
PEG (http://mypeg.ca/) - a Community Indicators System – built with the United Way of Winnipeg and IISD (International Institute for Sustainable Development). Via PEG, the citizens of Winnipeg learn how their life, their neighbourhood and their city is changing – for the good and the bad, via the presentation and analysis of community indicators of sustainability.
About Civic Dynamics
Civic Dynamics is dedicated to the development and deployment of software platforms that support the sharing of open data and promote citizen engagement in support of building healthy communities. The Civic Dynamics Platform (CDP) is a tool for managing dynamic open data. The company website is at http://civic-dynamics.com; it was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Québec City, QC.
About Structured Dynamics LLC
Structured Dynamics assists enterprises and non-profit organizations to adopt Web-accessible and interoperable semantic data. The basic premise is that the data itself becomes the application. Via structured, linked data and a combination of semantic technologies and Web services, information in any form and from any source can now be integrated and made interoperable. The company website is at http://structureddynamics.com; it is headquartered in Coralville, IA.
The professionals behind Buzzr have built hundreds of well-known websites, including the Sony Artist websites, MarthaStewart.com, FastCompany.com and Grammy.com. Our expertise ranges from the latest in open source technology, to best practices in user experience, to pioneering social media. We came together in 2008 to make it easier for more people and organizations to access the spectacular website tools of Drupal. In the process, we've helped transform open source Drupal and created tools used by more than 100,000 websites. The company Web site is at http:/buzzr.com; it is headquartered in NYC.