Sid Burgess

  • DotGov endorsed 2011-12-11 21:35:18 -0500

    Structured Open Data Campaign - Sign On!

    Update May 31, 2012:

    This bill, SB 1002, passsed 34-0 out of the California Senate today! Here is the statement from Sen. Leland Yee, the bill's author.
    "The Senate Appropriations committee today recognized the need for government agencies to deliver information to the public in an efficient, modern format," said Jim Ewert, General Counsel for the California Newspaper Publishers Association. "SB 1002 will set the benchmark for transparency and government oversight in the 21st century."

    UPDATE Feb. 7, 2012:

    Sen. Yee's office is working on SB 1002 and the language is still in draft. Open government and open data advocates are encouraged to comment, and I am helping organizing a meeting with the Senator for the week of Feb. 20 in San Francisco.

    Here's the FAQ on SB 1002 (pdf)

    And here's the draft bill text for SB 1002 (pdf)

    Comments meant for official consideration should be directed to Alicia Lewis, 


    Open data in San Francisco, the state of California, and throughout much of the U.S. and the world remains hobbled by a lack of legal definition. San Francisco's own open data law, for example, is posted online by the Board of Supervisors as a non-searchable PDF. On December 10-11, at the winter CityCampSF Hackathon, Gov 2.0 advocates will publicly launch an advocacy campaign to institute an open data standard in San Francisco municipal and California state law. The primary goal of this advocacy will be to achieve a clear and reasonable definition of open data for all materials required by law to be published online.

    Please join us in endorsing this advocacy campaign, and encourage your friends and legislators to sign on as well.

    Use our recruiting tools to rally your friends to this important cause.

    For more backgound on open data laws, check out Civic Commons - Data Policy Policy; and Open Standards Policy.

    For another definition of open data online that we will consider, see the CityCamp model Open Government directive, which describes open data as being published online in an "open format that can be retrieved, downloaded, indexed, sorted, searched, and reused by commonly used Web search applications and commonly used software."

    This legislation should also encompass the goals of increased transparency in responses to SF Sunshine Ordinance requests and California Public Records Act requests - documents released in an electronic format after implementation of this ordinance would have to follow its standards of accessibility.

    Machine-readability: Data should be published in structured formats easily processed by machines/software.


  • published City of Shawnee opens law enforcement data by mapping CAD calls and police criminal incidents in Blog 2011-08-18 01:37:13 -0400

    City of Shawnee opens law enforcement data by mapping CAD calls and police criminal incidents

    What is your local law enforcement working on this very minute?  What were those 3 police vehicles doing at that intersection?  What’s that traffic stop all about?  These questions might be unanswerable for most people, outside of a phone call to the police department.  But in Shawnee, OK, citizens can find out exactly what’s going on with their local law enforcement . . . using their iPhones.

    It’s a concrete example of open data at the municipal level.  Shawnee is publishing a variety of maps to their citizens through the YouTown platform, and among these are Police Criminal Incidents and Computer-Aided-Dispatch (CAD) calls.  The incidents appear as individual pinpoints on a Google map within the app.  Residents can view the most recent activity of law enforcement in Shawnee, which could alert them to possible danger in their area (drunk drivers, burglary, etc.)  Further, it sheds light on the moment-by-moment workings of the police department, fostering transparency and accountability -- perhaps even a spirit of camaraderie -- between citizens and law enforcement.

    On the Shawnee maps, CAD calls refresh every 30 minutes.  Residents can view recent calls about traffic stops, noise complaints, reckless drivers, and even paperwork stops made by officers.  Clicking on a specific call provides details like the call number, time the call was received, location, and priority.

    The Police Criminal Incidents map displays the last 99 occurrences, such as burglaries, violations of protective orders, information reports, public drunks, and etc.  Further information includes date, time, location, and whether the incident is open or closed.

    This information is totally open to public view -- an outstanding example of a city striving for openness and connection with citizens.  It’s a particularly healthy way to foster transparent government since it deals with law enforcement, a department often subject to criticism, misunderstanding, or distrust.  Stephen Nolen, CIO for the City of Shawnee, explains how he accomplished the 911 integration, and how other cities can do the same, in this article.

  • commented on Local Gov Goes Mobile with YouTown 2011-08-17 16:38:03 -0400
    Thanks for posting this Adriel! Enjoyed being on the show and appreciate you helping to spread the word.
  • commented on The week in Gov 2.0 news at OpenGovFresh 2011-08-17 01:05:32 -0400
    Nice summary. A couple of these I hadn’t seen yet. Thanks!
  • commented on Google+, Identity and The Corporation: The Second Life Purge 2011-07-17 13:37:33 -0400

    Great story. I too am in the military and when my “first name” is called, people often say, hey, I didn’t know your first name was “Mark”.

    I get that. That is what makes social graphing difficult. And in cases where you actually have assumed another name offline, it makes sense. But then, if you have an offline, verifiable identity offline, then you are not excluded from Google+. This isn’t about those of us who have gone by their middle name to the point that everything is in that name. This is about people who want to use a purely fictional or pretend name that has no offline bearing or meaning using it to identify themselves. To me, that is a different issue.

    In the military, I go by “Sid” or more often, “Burgess”. I have never gone by 91Wh!skey (my game avatar name). Plus, Google can’t graph that relationship between 91Wh!iskey and my mother. Not in an efficient way or in a way that makes understanding people’s profiles online simple.

    I see nothing wrong with adding your alias or even better yet, adding your accounts to the links area. Here people can see what identities you have taken on BEYOND your foundation identity. There has to be a starting point and if this was an Ancestry site, you would need to step it up a notch and require people to complete their profile using their full, legal name.
  • commented on Google+ and Social Media Elitism 2011-07-03 16:08:16 -0400
    Wow, not sure what to say. On Twitter, I have never followed as many people as follow me. Currently I follow about 300 and have 3500 followers or so. If I did, I would actually lose out on seeing the tweets that I wanted to see. What’s the point of a social network if it isn’t to represent your, well social network. If others want to listen in and be a fly on the wall, then that is fine with me. But I am unclear how a rush to add people for the sake of gaining followers benefits me. And since this is the motive of so many that follow me, I would only be playing that very game if I automatically reciprocated.

    Thankfully on Google+ it is easier to reciprocate but seriously, now my default stream and more annoyingly, my stream on my phone is full of posts of people I know nothing about nor share very little with in terms of topics of interest. So, now my stream does not represent my social network nor is useful for me to be able to get the information and updates that I actually DO want to get from those I care about. [like you. :)]

    HOWEVER, as soon as Google allows me to change my stream default so that I can pick certain circles to be my aggregate stream on all my devices, then I am much more likely to follow you. Because then I can also ignore you just as easily when I am trying to see what my friends are doing in the beautiful OKC.

    Very thoughtful topic… Appreciate you breaking the ice from this perspective.
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