The Project

What is this all about? Why are you doing this?

Portland area governments want to be more transparent and make their data more useful. Government has to be on the cutting edge of technology to fulfill its public service mandate in today’s world. To be useful to citizens, the information it collects must be more accessible. But we also know we don’t know how to do this. There is a lot of creative ideas and talent in the local developer community – as well as a willingness to share with others. This Challenge is a way to tap into this and let everyone know about the datasets that have been made public.

Why the name CivicApps?

CivicApps stands for Civic Applications. No, we’re not talking about the ever popular fuel-efficient, reliable and environmentally friendly car. This is about Civic engagement, which is defined as “individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern.” In a few words, the goal is to promote applications that help people identify and address issues of public concern.

Why is Portland doing this?

The City of Portland is not doing this alone. This is a regional effort between local governments across the Portland area. The simple answer is that we think helping people find and use public information is good. Even better is empowering people to help themselves and help others. Making public data open empowers people.

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