Under Construction: We're in Beta You should help us Build: add an app add an org

Let's find out what's working, where.

Civic Commons is a marketplace for open innovation in government, tracking 592 apps in 201 cities.

Trending Apps

mobile phone and web tool for citizen reporting
A real time mobile civic engagement platform
Socrata Data Hosting
An open data platform
A simple, friendly web application for communities to keep track of the people, companies, groups, and projects that make them great.

Help Build the Marketplace

add an app
e.g. WordPress
tell us who did what
e.g. NY Senate deployed Drupal
write a story
e.g. how Adopt-A-Hydrant was re-used

The Marketplace is a wiki.
You should improve it by adding civic software you know about, and where it’s being used.


Civic Commons in the Press

Recent Activity


From Blog

The Civic Commons Community

From the beginning, Civic Commons has been a dynamic community initiative.  What began in January 2010 as a simple wiki of open government policies and practices (originally called “OpenMuni”, domains for which were simultaneously and independently obtained by Code for America and OpenPlans), grew into a partnership between the two organizations to support the growing open government technology [...]

Proprietary Lions and Bears in the Civic Commons Marketplace

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from CC Advisor and former New York State CIO, Andrew Hoppin (@ahoppin). We strongly believe that Civic Commons is a community-driven platform, and we not only welcome but encourage dialogue on how to make it most effective as a resource. If you have an opinion on any of [...]

Engagement Commons: A new tool to empower civic engagement

Crossposted on KnightBlog.org With the explosion of open data, we’ve seen a proliferation of civic software aiming to get community information on everything from road closures to restaurant inspections into people’s hands. The apps have great potential for engaging people in improving their communities. But often the people closest to the data — city leaders [...]

Codifying Innovation in City Government

The following is a guest post from Logan Kleier, the Chief Information Security Officer of the City of Portland, OR.  Welcome, Logan! – A stagnant U.S. economy continues to affect the fortunes of city governments. According to a September 2011 report by the National League of Cities, cities have experienced their fifth straight year to [...]

2012: Open Innovation for Government

As we turn the calendar to the new year, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on what we’ve done here at Civic Commons over the past year, what we’ve learned, and where we’re planning on heading next. It’s been a busy year for us. While the Civic Commons initiative began, slowly, as an [...]

Marketplace Demo: Video

During the first annual Code for America Summit, a major piece of the event was held for demos — quick, focused presentations of real-world examples of impact. Two Civic Commons team members, Nick Grossman and Jeremy Canfield, took to the stage to demo the CC Marketplace (then in closed beta, now open for business!). If [...]

Civic Commons Marketplace: An App Store For Civic Tech

On December 20, 2011 the Civic Commons Marketplace opened to the public. Over the past two weeks it’s grown from cataloguing 193 in 58 cities to 220 apps in 86 cities. Though still in beta, the Marketplace holds the promise of a comprehensive catalogue where anyone, anywhere can find what’s out there and figure out [...]
Discussion Group

From Discussion Group

SF's open source Enterprise Addressing System now in production.

San Francisco developer Paul McCullough recently announced on the EAS
discuss list [1] that SF's open source Enterprise Addressing System is
now in production there. The Department of Building Inspection in SF is
now using the system for daily business-critical operations.
Big congratulations to the SF team! More about EAS:

Open-source Enterprise Addressing System now in production in SF!

See forwarded message below -- the open-source Enterprise Addressing
System is now in production in SF. Big congratulations to SF and to Paul!

Dept. of Health and Human Services grant for better public access to healthcare quality data

At a datacamp I participated in a few weeks back, one of the
government data sets that people wanted better access to was
healthcare quality data. I learned a lot about the datasets that
Medicare has available, as well as data made available from
non-profits operating in the healthcare quality data space. (See the

Simple open data theme / configuration

All -
One of our fellows, Matt Hampel, is looking for a very basic WP theme or
similar for a starter open data site. Any suggestions?

Proprietary Lions and Bears in the Civic Commons Marketplace

Hey all--
Our friend and advisor Andrew Hoppin just wrote a great guest piece on the
Civic Commons blog, inspired by a conversation that picked up on twitter
earlier this week re: the relationship between the civic commons
marketplace and proprietary software. Please have a read and weigh in in
the comments.

Machine Readable City Process Flow Data and Diagrams

The last post about process got me thinking. Does anyone know if there
is an example or standard for publishing local city's process flows in
a machine readable format? Let me give you a little background on this
question and hopefully shed some light it. In November, when Open
Chattanooga was launching our Open Data Catalog, one of the coders

Barriers or Processes - your thoughts welcome!

Barriers or Processes?
In the past couple of days I've had informative meetings with two high
level city officials (separately) and both have progressed in a good
direction until we come to a topic that has a potential legal
implication for the city. At this point an idea that was moving along
nicely hits what is perceived as a real barrier to implementation or

Fw: Now Recruiting: CfA Accelerator Director

Hi All--
Later this year, Code for America will be launching a Civic Startup Accelerator (see [link]). An important first step is finding a director!
Please circulate the link below to anyone who might be interested. This is a really cool opportunity, with an organization that has a ton of momentum.
Open311 Blog

From Open311 Blog

Tackling the long-term strategy of Open311

The following post was written by Andrew Nicklin of NYC DoITT, a long time member of the Open311 community. It's a cross-post from the original at technickle.nicklin.info. The points Andrew raise about the challenges of scaling Open311 as an open platform are spot on and the whole post seemed important ...

An Open311 Wish List

The Open311 GeoReport v2 spec was finalized on 3-11-11. That date was historic instead for the heartbreaking Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. I think that disaster revealed a great deal of civic minded compassion and heroism in Japan so it all may be interrelated in the end. With dozens of cities ...

311 Pioneering Baltimore Continues to Lead with Open311

The new 311 Mobile App allows citizens to have real-time collaboration with their government. - Mayor Rawlings-Blake The City of Baltimore has a long history of leading the way with 311. In 1996 they were the first city to deploy the 311 short code and unified call center ...

Ushahidi and the Open311 Ecosystem

David Eaves wrote a great post today highlighting the opportunity for Open311 integration with the Ushahidi platform. I ended up responding with a long comment and figured I'd post it here as well - particularly since we're long overdue for an update and because I've covered many of the cities, ...

The Open311 GeoReport v2 Spec Stabilizes

It's been a while since there's been an update here, but if you've watched the mailing list you've seen that work has continued to help ensure that the GeoReport v2 spec is clearly defined and stabilized. We're almost ready to officially freeze the spec and many cities, companies, and developers ...

Open311 GeoReport v2 Established & GeoReport v1 Goes Live

The Open311 specification and implementations have developed rapidly in recent months and several developers and service providers have already integrated the first version of the specification into their technology. San Francisco has also moved their API from just  being available for testing to being deployed as a live, in-production web ...

San Francisco Launches its Open311 API

Here's the announcement from SFgov.org: We are pleased to announce the release of our Open311 API. The design is a result of a collaborative effort between cities, non-profits and developers. We look forward to seeing what you produce. You can request an API key from their website and read-up on the Open311 ...

International Coordination for Local Collaboration

As White House CIO Vivek Kundra joined San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, CIO Chris Vein, and Tim O'Reilly to signal the launch of the Open311 API in San Francisco the work towards spreading an open standard gained huge momentum. Yet we still need continued coordination and collaboration to deliver the ...

From Tumblr

"We also are working with Code for America (CFA) to partner with the City on an accelerator for..."

“We also are working with Code for America (CFA) to partner with the City on an accelerator for startups that focus on civic issues, funded by Google and the Kauffman Foundation. CFA will also provide a platform for civic hackers to maintain and adapt open source code for the city, establish a fellowship assigning three bright minds to city government for a year to solve specific problems, and create a Civic Commons Marketplace for cities to share technology and collaborate on new technologies and applications.”

- Ronald Conway: Sf.citi: Harnessing the Power of San Francisco’s Tech Community to Create Jobs and Improve the City

"Why should every city government treat the same issues as unique barriers? If one has pushed through..."

“Why should every city government treat the same issues as unique barriers? If one has pushed through a solution, why would we try to face the issue as a barrier? If we change our mode of thinking we are now viewing this issue simply as a process to follow. I’m not trying to simplify complex scenarios nor to undervalue thoughtful planning, but I don’t see how we can view the same problems as unique, over and over again. Take the hard work others have done before us, leverage it for our city and residents benefit, and do the same with out struggles and wins- publish our process successes and our common software solutions and share in the efficiencies and collaborations that can strengthen our governments and improve their operation.

To wit, this is exactly how I’m approaching our efforts to implement opendata in both the City of Oakland and the County of Alameda. San Francisco, New York and Chicago have done the hard work blazing a trail, now we have a great process to follow so we don’t have to do the same hard work as they did.

* Identify problem
* Search for existing solution
* Plug and play.

And I think that the more we talk about the processes and struggles to change, the more we all gain.”


Steve Spiker: Barriers or Processes?

 Steve Spiker writes a great post about the potential to open-source our processes, not just our code.  Hear hear.

Open Architecture [i.e., The Internet Is a Human Right]

Open Architecture [i.e., The Internet Is a Human Right]:


The Internet is not really a technology but rather a set of principles that have become embodied in a bunch of different technologies.  I am going to quote at some length from a document that Cerf also co-authored about the history of the Internet:

The Internet as we now know it embodies a key underlying technical idea, namely that of open architecture networking. In this approach, the choice of any individual network technology was not dictated by a particular network architecture but rather could be selected freely by a provider and made to interwork with the other networks through a meta-level “Internetworking Architecture”

Albert Wenger discusses how the Open Architecture of the internet contributes fundamental rights and freedoms that it offers.

When we talk about “Government as a Platform”, we’re largely drawing a parallel between the architecture of government technology (and cities, more broadly) and the architecture of the Internet.  The idea, described above, that an open architecture is not about any one technology, but rather about a set of principles that can be embodied by different technologies, is the key.  By building around an open architecture, guided by open standards, new specific technologies can be inserted, replaced, and improved as necessary, without disrupting the overall structure.  The freedom that this architecture embodies explicitly encourages innovation, by decreasing the cost of changing or improving any one component, or of adding something new on top of the system.

This all sounds a bit abstract, I’m sure, so for our part at Civic Commons, we’ll work on tying these concepts into more concrete examples.


From Twitter