California Creates Office of Digital Innovation

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The California Department of Technology has launched a new Office of Digital Innovation and an Innovation Lab, which will look for new ways to use the state’s myriad open data websites to provide information to the public.

As CivSource has reported in the past, California seems to launch some new open data effort at least every other month. However, that can leave non-technical users confused about where to find information they are interested in when it is scattered over tens of different open data portals. Now, with the new office, California hopes to create a governmentwide view on open data and information sharing.

According to a blog post on the Department of Technology website, the effort will be headed up by State Geographic Information Officer, Scott Gregory, and his team.

The first task of the new office and Innovation Lab will to be to grow an open source development environment which will run on CalCloud at the lab. The Department says that the “California Innovation Lab will be a “tech-habitat” for California government organizations to build, test, and deploy open source technologies within the state’s data center.”

California will also be creating policy and usage standards for data within its development environment, which could lead to a data standardization effort statewide. The first application developed on CalCloud is known as GreenBuyer and was developed at a two-day code-a-thon. The application provides users with information on the amount of sustainable products purchased by state government each year.

State officials will also hold an open data forum on February 29, that will let state entities learn about the new office and projects at the Innovation Lab.