by Rich Grady, President
There are many candidates for pillars of local government. Our nominees are:
1) an informed citizenry and public education;
2) civic works and infrastructure;
3) public health and safety;
4) transparency and accountability in government activities; and,
5) democracy and freedom.
This set of five pairs covers a lot of ground, but all are deep-rooted beliefs and commitments on which our government is founded, and by which our country has prospered.
These pillars — together with the Bill of Rights embodied in our Constitution — made the United States unique among nations when it was founded, embracing the ideals of the Age of Enlightenment, including citizen sovereignty, the rule of law, and the empowering notion of “Sapere Aude” — Dare to Know. We are not ruled by a King or Queen, who inherited their power. The government is OUR government. We are empowered to exercise this sovereignty in a responsible manner; but we are sometimes hampered by entrenched ways of doing things, complacency, and a lack of transparency and truth-telling.
You can read a lot of articles about data-driven decisions, and hear people talk about this at conferences. And as important as good data can be to the decision-making process, it is only a resource; and the technology to use it is only a tool. As a government leader, you understand the issues, operational needs, and citizen expectations faced in your community — and the innate intelligence and volunteer spirit of your constituents, nurtured by a great public education system and belief in open government.
You can empower citizens to act on their innovative ideas by enabling them to communicate with others and share and iterate on ideas, through easy access to good data — data they can trust, and see on a map. Unleash the rich value in your data resources by making them open and easy to access, by everyone — anywhere, anytime, and on any device — not just at your government offices.
Citizens are part of the decision-making processes in local government, and increasingly expect access to good digital data, and digital government as well, via self-service and online resources. Well-informed citizens are often the first to show community spirit through volunteerism and engagement on issues. Providing them with quality data at their fingertips, whenever they need it, is empowering. Platforms that deliver quality data in an easy and convenient manner are fundamental to better local government, and AppGeo’s MapGeo is such a platform. It empowers people, both as citizens and part of government.
Created by AppGeo for local government to deliver detailed geographic and business data in a simple way, MapGeo is used by over 180 communities. As a company, AppGeo brings the understanding gained from serving these local communities, and deep technical expertise to improve departmental operations with Spatial IQ, as a complement to our cloud-based MapGeo platform for geospatial data and citizen engagement. We’d like to help your community, too! [Now that you know “why” we’d like to help, ask us “how” by clicking on the “envelope” button to the right of your screen.]