Bringing New and Open Mapping Technologies Into the Government

    by Bonnie Bogle
    February 22, 2013

    Next week [200-plus people will meet](http://fedgeoday.com/) in Washington, D.C., to talk about the latest geospatial technologies and how to break down barriers to get new — and open-source — tools into the government. The government is not usually known for being on the cutting edge of technology, though efforts are improving, and this is particularly true in geo where bulky proprietary tools have long been the only technology option.

    But the world of mapping, cartography, and GIS has drastically changed in recent years, with the proliferation of smartphones, mapping apps, and new tools like [TileMill](http://mapbox.com/tilemill/), the open-source cartography studio that we’ve [written about here before]( New technologies are bringing new efficiencies and making mapping and large-scale geodata analysis a possibility to a much larger crowd. This one-day event — [FedGeo Day](http://fedgeoday.com/) — will focus on how to bring this change into the government.



    The day will start with a keynote from [Mike Byrne](https://twitter.com/byrne_tweets), geographical informational officer at the Federal Communications Commission, with some examples of how his team has highlighted policy issues like [gaps in broadband access](http://www.fcc.gov/maps/unserved-fixed-broadband) and [wireless speeds](http://www.fcc.gov/maps/wireline-maximum-advertised-download-speed) with maps. Sessions will follow on topics like using [OpenStreetMap](http://www.openstreetmap.org/) to make a national parks map, effective examples of web maps from the Department of Energy, and accessing open local data to solve local issues from Code for America fellows. Discussions on how to get open-source tools through the procurement process and how the government should be distributing open, public data to make it most accessible and usable will show a vision of where government agencies should be aiming.

    Registration for FedGeo Day — taking place February 28 in Washington, D.C. — is [still open](http://fedgeoday.com/), and you can follow along online at #fedgeoday.

    Bonnie Bogle runs everything “behind the scenes” at Development Seed — from finances to logistics to the office. She develops efficient systems without a lot of overhead, allowing Development Seed to stay small, agile, and focused on building open source tools. In addition to her role as operations manager, Bonnie leads communications, managing the blog, Twitter accounts, and most other external messaging. She is active in the local technology community, having organized monthly technology meetups in Washington, D.C., for more than two years and promoting other local events in her weekly Week in DC Tech blog post. She was also the lead organizer of DrupalCon DC, an international conference that drew more than 1,400 people, where she organized and ran all event logistics, communications, and coordination.

    Tagged: events government mapping open source opendata opengov tilemill

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