Precision Polling was proud to sponsor the Open APIs for Government at San Francisco City Hall on Friday. Respected thought leaders like Mitch Kapor (our old boss at Xmarks), Tim O’Reilly, and Craig Newmark urged a mixed audience of government officials, entrepreneurs, and reporters to think “open” with their data. Twilio organized the event, and are now running a developer contest around Open APIs.
Drawing many lessons from the Open Source movement, the Open APIs movement encourages anyone with a body of potentially useful information to simply make it available, even if it’s not immediately clear what to do with it. Entrepreneurs and enthusiasts have shown time and time again an amazing ability to stitch together these various data sources in novel ways for the public good. This has included transit data, crime, potholes, broken streetlights, garbage, vandalism, and so on.
While Precision Polling isn’t a data source per se, we operate in the same spirit of democratizing access to actionable information. Our low cost structure and no setup fees make it possible for local governments, school districts, government agencies, and other similar public organizations to poll their constituents and make data-driven decisions. This is the other side of the Government 2.0 coin: improving the communication between government and its constituents through technology, and we’re proud to play a part in it.
At our booth during the event, we were delighted to run into a number of interesting folks from local government, non-profits, and public agencies who wanted to actively incorporate public opinion polling into their other data efforts. We’ll be sharing success in this space in the coming months, but in the meantime, let us know if you’re interested in learning more about how we can help!