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Google invests in tech-savvy governments

Government 2.0 digitally breaks down information barriers between cities and the public. It's an idea that Google is getting behind.

Government 2.0 digitally breaks down information barriers between cities and the public. It's an idea that Google is getting behind.

Google announced a $1.5 million grant to Code for America, an organization dedicated to bringing innovative tech ideas to government. Portfolio.com reports:

“With the cost of technology dropping, you can try cool new things quickly and drop them if they don’t work,” [said Jennifer Pahlka, the founder of Code for America].

She blames deeply ingrained bureaucracy on the government's current inability to take advantage of such experimentation.

“There is a gap between the innovation curve of the economy and the innovation curve of the government,” she told Portfolio.com.

To close that gap this past year, the nonprofit organization hosted 19 fellows in Boston, Philadelphia, and Seattle, which together developed 21 open-source apps designed to facilitate the city government’s ability to communicate with its citizens.

Here's a sampling of their open-source apps:

Change By Us - A go-to place for web-based civic engagement. This tool gives citizens a place to share ideas about how to improve their city.

DataCouch - Cleans up government data to make it easily accessible for developers to build upon.

Open 311 - Allows the public to interact with the city on non-emergency issues like potholes. The app also shows the progress of projects.

Check out the other projects Code for America is developing.

"Google Invests $1.5M to Help Silicon-ize Cities" [Portfolio.com]

Photo: William Hook/Flickr

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com