Accela launches free open data platform for governments, civic hackers


Accela, Inc., a provider of civic engagement solutions for government agencies, has launched is a free cloud-based open data platform that governments and civic hackers can use to store data sets on and make them available to developers.

“The platform is absolutely free, regardless of how much you store. For our customers we have automation in place with our other Accela solutions, but you don’t have to be a customer to put data on the platform. I lead a Code for America Brigade for example, and its all volunteer, so this gives us a place to put our data for free,” Kris Trujillo, one of the plaform programmers at Accela, tells CivSource.

Accela is launching the platform at the Code for America Summit currently underway in California. The company has done work with Code for America to set specifications associated with LIVES restaurant inspection data and the HouseFacts for residential housing inspection data.

The platform will offer a single location to view rich multi-jurisdictional data in real-time and in standard formats, removing the burden from agency IT staff. “The real value for us here as a company is to be a central location for all of this data and build applications that people need,” he says.

The platform is format agnostic, and offers users a basic level of granular control in terms of dataset administration. Developers will also have access to an API of all the data published on the platform. “Over time, we want to continue our work on developing data standards with the help of data from the platform,” Trujillo says.

New features will be released on the platform before the end of the year. Subsequent releases will be driven by platform feedback and demand.