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The OpenPlans way

Chicago DOT recently launched a new bike parking requests website, using Shareabouts. It’s a neat project, and bike parking requests are flooding in. Beyond being a neat example of responsive government, the project is also a great case study for how we work at OpenPlans. Here’s why: Shareabouts is an open source software project. That Read more…

How to write about your planning project, part 1

We’re seeing some great project websites being created on OpenPlans.org. Starting this week, we share tips and tricks to getting the most out of your page. Drop us a line anytime with questions, or head over to our community pages to share ideas and projects with other OpenPlans users.

Getting an OpenPlans page up and running is as simple as going to OpenPlans.org, and creating an account. You’ll be walked through some questions, then presented with an editable view of your project page. From there, you’re one click away from publishing and sharing your page.

So, publishing is easy, but what should you be thinking about when crafting a project description?

Supporting Participatory Budgeting with Shareabouts

Last year, nine NYC Council Members supported community-driven budgeting, giving local residents the opportunity to decide how funding should be allocated in their neighborhoods. Known as Participatory Budgeting, it’s an exciting opportunity for people to come together for public meetings that matter. High-impact, popular projects get supported, and hundreds of residents work together, becoming empowered and informed.

We want to see Shareabouts be even more useful for PB in future years. We’re excited about it being part of a collection of powerful open source engagement tools, making participation more rewarding, and giving staff and volunteers the tools they need to manage the complexities of engaging thousands of people over several months. From initial idea gathering to presenting the final results, we want to see open, collaborative tools underpinning the entire participatory budgeting process.

New ways to get Shareabouts maps

In time for APA, we just released self-service Shareabouts maps inside your OpenPlans project. It’s simple: create a project and activate the map. Set your center and zoom, and publish! Users can view the map on your page, and add points with written comments. Not a replacement for a full Shareabouts map, but very helpful Read more…

Let’s talk

For several years*, we’ve had a Google Group open to the Shareabouts community – a place for technical questions and conversations about making Shareabouts better. All of us at OpenPlans channel those questions and ideas into making our open source tools better. We want to broaden those conversations beyond “developers”, to everyone who’s using OpenPlans and Read more…

Heart Plan In A Box

Another week, another slew of updates to Plan In A Box… First, a security note: we want your Plans to be Open, but not your passwords. Like most of the web this week, the Heartbleed security vulnerability affected the certificates that keep Plan In A Box accounts safe. We changed the certs on Wednesday, and Read more…

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