SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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Azavea Becomes a Google Civic Information API Partner

Azavea's Cicero Database of Legislative District and Elected Official Contact Information Provides Google Civic Information API With U.S. Elected Official Information at Local, State and Federal Levels, and Includes Social Media and Open Civic Data Identi

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwired - July 23, 2014) - Azavea, a geospatial analysis (GIS) software development company, has become one of the Google Civic Information API partners.  The Google Civic Information API is a free data service that provides polling place locations, candidates, voter ID requirements and ballot information, which can be used to develop web and mobile applications. The Google Civic Information API uses several sources for its data.  The Cicero database is supplying contact information and social media accounts for all U.S. elected officials, including local City and County Council for 98 cities, as well as Open Civic Data Identifiers, a globally unique set of identifiers for political divisions.

On the eve of this fall's general elections, several open data initiatives have been put in place to inform citizens and better enable them to participate in elections.  In addition to the Google Civic Information API, Sunlight Foundation's Open States API has continued to be enhanced and now provides details on bills and resolutions, including actions and votes, along with upcoming events such as committee meetings and hearings.  The Voting Information Project (VIP), a project of the Pew Charitable Trusts, now assembles polling places and other information from most U.S. states as well as several local governments.

Azavea has both relied upon and contributed to the open data community, and is committed to creating tools that can make our government more open and accountable.  In 2009, the firm launched Redistricting the Nation website to provide the public with information about the legislative redistricting process and tools that support and encourage fair representation and competitive elections.  It also published a series of white papers on redistricting, and developed DistrictBuilder with the Public Mapping Project, an open source, web-based redistricting application designed to give the public access to online redistricting tools.  Earlier this year, it announced that it would represent Philadelphia as a new regional ODI (Open Data Initiative) Node

"We are proud that the data we have assembled and refined for years in our Cicero database is making a contribution to the Google Civic Information API.  Democracy is not inevitable or a given; it must be sustained and strengthened by each generation.  Today, American democracy is challenged by unlimited political contributions, polarized legislatures, gerrymandered districts and opaque processes.  But efforts such as the Google Civic Information API, the Voting Information Project, Sunlight Labs' Open States API and ParliamentWatch have demonstrated that technology can make an important contribution toward improving democratic institutions," said Robert Cheetham, Azavea CEO and President.

For more information on the Google Civic Information API, visit:  https://developers.google.com/civic-information/

About Azavea - Azavea is a certified B Corporation that applies geographic data and technology for civic and social impact while advancing the state-of-the-art through research.  Find out more at http://www.azavea.com/.

If you would like more information about Azavea or to schedule an interview with Robert Cheetham, Azavea CEO and President, please contact Amy Trahey at (215) 558-6184 or e-mail [email protected].

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