PDF: Applied

Do you have an idea for an app to enhance our electoral process, to help citizens engage in their communities, or to help facilitate online activism? Here’s a unique opportunity for it to be built in a weekend by some of the world’s top civic developers.

In connection with the 2012 “Personal Democracy Forum” conference, we are bringing leading civic “hackers” together with practitioners in government and NGOs to build tools that enhance civic life through technology-driven innovation. Participants will work to build applications that address specific civic needs in keeping with this year’s “Internet is the New Political Power” PDF conference theme.

If you would like to participate in PDF: Applied, please RSVP at http: http://pdfapplied.eventbrite.com/
Please direct any questions or feedback to pdf.applied@gmail.com

What challenge do you want PDF: Applied to solve?

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  1. How can Common Cause/NY crowd source poll monitoring using mapping and SMS tools to track issues in real-time?

    Traditionally, poll watching and monitoring is performed primarily by representatives of the candidates and attorneys for political parties because of the expense of training and deploying a sufficient number of poll watchers to cover election districts in areas where there are likely to be issues at the polls. There are rarely, if ever, disinterested representatives of the public who can observe and report problems or illegal activities at polling places. Most advocacy and non-profit organizations simply don’t have the resources to monitor a large number of polling sites. In NYC, one civil rights organization uses volunteers to conduct exit polls…

    156 votes
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      1 comment  ·  Admin →
    • Credit Union Finder webapp

      Help build a webapp that identifies credit unions a person is eligible for. This webapp has already been planned out but we need developer help. We have obtained, through a Freedom of Information Act Request, the necessary information for all credit unions in the New York City area. This is a joint project of the Alternative Banking Working Group of Occupy Wall Street and folks at Thoughtworks who have been kind enough to donate their time.

      137 votes
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        1 comment  ·  Admin →
      • Instadata: One-click crowdsourcing of OpenData requests.

        Build a tool which allows anyone using a modern web browser to flag content on a government (or perhaps any) Internet site which they would like to access through an Open Data offering. In addition, build a web application / backend to receive and store this identified content. The web application should permit the batch extraction of flagged content by domain (e.g. *.nyc.gov/*). Instapaper may serve as good inspiration for an approach, however, functionality such as account management, etc, would not be needed.

        Additional info here:
        https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1ECYtczG830OnIpT6LxJ2soZPQhKIkkE3Tm7nyPEnf1Q

        57 votes
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        • Conflict of Interest

          In the orbit of transparency, a tool that would bring into light any connections or relations between senators, representatives, governors, city mayors, bill sponsors, lobbyist, corporations, and money. This tool is desperately needed, for example in public education sector, are the printed publications provided in schools seeking the best interest of citizen intelligence, corporate gains, or a crafted social shift. This political instrument could prevent approval of bills written for personal, financial, and sovereignty gains.

          49 votes
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          • Reports cards of how local officials are voting

            A way to keep track of how elected officials have been voting, like PopVox's Congress Match but at the local level (plus an easy address or zip code-based search for issues and people).

            42 votes
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              1 comment  ·  Admin →
            • Help public schools better connect with their neighborhoods and local businesses

              Create a tool that makes it easy for citizens to connect with schools and organizations that support schools in their area to offer mentorship and other resources

              33 votes
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              • Detailed mapping of 311 Calls by Issue (building on open-source mapping tools)

                Design an application that plots 311 calls by issue on an interactive map of NYC. Building off StopWatchNYC.com (which is now open source at https://github.com/NYC-Public-Advocate/NYCStopwatch), this web and mobile app would plot 311 calls (which are updated daily at https://nycopendata.socrata.com/Social-Services/311-Service-Requests-from-2010-to-Present/erm2-nwe9) into an easy-to-use tool for community residents and groups. The program would enable individuals and groups to better understand and analyze call data for key issue areas and also identify trends across NYC.

                32 votes
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                • Track all disputed factual claims made by elected and appointed officials

                  Inevitably when a position is taken, both elected and appointed officials make factual claims. Almost as inevitably, some of those claims will be disputed by NGOs / civil society, political opponents, active citizens, and sometimes industry groups. A factual claim is fairly easy to isolate from the policy it supports or suggests. Facts by definition are disprovable/testable. Keeping track of disputed factual claims per person and per field and per decision, and also counter-claims and refutations, makes it far easier to determine whether a conflict of interest may be causing a questionable factual claim. It also makes it easy to…

                  29 votes
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                  • Identifying Trends in 311 Calls & Enabling Custom E-Alerts

                    Think of this as a Google Alert system for 311 calls. Users would log in and set up their alert preferences based on the community where they live or issues that they care about. The tool would analyze trends in 311 calls by issue area/compliant, looking for dramatic changes over time -- notifying users when appropriate. For example, if I'm worried about rats in my neighborhood, I might hypothetically want to be notified anytime the number of rat or sanitation complaints in zip code 11238 exceeds 100 complaints in a week or increases dramatically. The tool would use open source…

                    28 votes
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                    • Shift scheduling tools for Occupy type events.

                      An open source tool allow people to sign up for a shift at an “occupy” type event so that, with minimal hassle, occupies can be full around the clock.

                      24 votes
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                        1 comment  ·  Admin →
                      • Political geography lookup web service for redistricting transparency

                        Extend Phil Ashlock’s DemocracyMap project (http://www.democracymap.org/) and NYSenate’s SAGE project (http://sage.nysenate.gov/) to make it easy for apps to be built that can easily access boundary data and district metadata in support of public participation in and transparency about redistricting issues; first in New York, and then nationwide.

                        24 votes
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                        • App for identifying & engaging w civic groups & city govt resources

                          By aggregating information already online (starting with http://gis.nyc.gov/doitt/nycitymap/ and http://www.nyc.gov/html/cau/html/involved/civic.shtml), this app would allow individuals to more easily identify and engage their local civic and governmental groups and resources, including community boards, civic/block associations, community education councils, and govt entities, from anywhere and at any time. Simply by entering their location, individuals would easily find meeting times, contact information, and locations of their local civic organizations and city govt entities.

                          24 votes
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                          • iPad Petitioning Tool w Integrated Voter Data

                            Help to build a tool for on-the-street petitioning that automatically finds signer information using the NYC vote databases (we can bring dataset to PDF applied) and then adds that individual to a list of petition signers. This integrated petitioning tool would allow petitioners to save time filling out information, and would digitize the petitioning process, eliminating the use of paper and the time consuming process of re-entering petition signers’ information into digital form. The tool would have a dual value of enabling the petition signers to learn if their voter registration information is out of date or see if they…

                            22 votes
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                            • Online hub for processing & tracking all NYC gov’t info requests

                              This tool would expand on a concept that was pioneered at https://www.muckrock.com/foi/list/, while adding customization for NYC. The app would ensure that individuals’ information requests are property submitted, and track the agency’s processing of the request to make sure it is not lost in the red tape. Government information requests often do not produce results because individuals improperly file the request. This application would a one-stop hub for generating properly-worded FOIL requests to the appropriate agency record access officers and then would track the request's status until the agency provides the desired information.

                              22 votes
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                              • Help create NYC’s Worst Landlord Watchlist 3.0

                                The NYC Public Advocate's office launched its Worst Landlord Watchlist in August 2010 (www.LandlordWatchlist.com) and the site now receives more than 250,000 visitors/year. The site - which is now open-source at https://github.com/NYC-Public-Advocate/Watchlist - received a facelift and new features in 2011 but there's much more that could be done make it more interactive and engaging. Additions could involve user submissions and reviews, customized alerts to track trends, ??

                                19 votes
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                                • Modeling the ideal drupal Gov 2.0 website

                                  Design the next generation of government website. Building off a drupal base, help design a model that city elected officials could use to have more interactive, dynamic websites for engaging their constituents - how might an ideal govt 2.0 site be structured, what new features should it contain, and how would it differ from current predominating designs?

                                  15 votes
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                                    1 comment  ·  Admin →
                                  • Repurpose NYU's NotifyNYC@mplifier for election GOTV efforts

                                    NYU developed this recently to spread word of @NotifyNYC emergency messages faster via Twitter; how can we reuse this approach and code for elections?: http://twitter.com/#!/NYCDoITT/status/199978189265707009/photo/1

                                    14 votes
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                                    • An issue/position/argument database for all persistent issues (at all levels of government)

                                      An issue is a neutral statement of what decision must be made or what process followed to resolve a contentious public policy question. It is stated so as to favor no particular position and should be acceptable to all parties, rather like a Supreme Court framing of a legal question, or an uncontroversial referendum question. It is not a yes or no choice, because all issues have more than two positions.

                                      A position is a highly biased, possibly inflammatory or bigoted, way of stating a particular choice. It may be operationally the same as a less inflammatory statement, that is,…

                                      14 votes
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                                        1 comment  ·  Admin →
                                      • Join the Civic Data Challenge

                                        The Civic Data Challenge turns the raw data of “civic health" into beautiful, useful applications and visualizations, enabling communities to be better understood and made to thrive.

                                        Civic health data has been collected for years, and we now have an opportunity to make this trove of community insight more valuable and accessible to decision makers and the public. The Civic Data Challenge will bring new eyes, new minds, new findings, and new skill sets to the field of civic health.

                                        Designers, data scientists, researchers, and app developers are especially encouraged to join the challenge.

                                        Challenge participants are provided with civic…

                                        10 votes
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                                        • 9 votes
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                                          PDF: Applied

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