Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg signed legislation requiring the creation of an interactive crime-mapping website. This innovative map will display by block each class of crime and the aggregate monthly, yearly and year-to-date totals for the current year and most recent prior years.The map will also be searchable by address, zip code, and patrol precinct and available within a month after the crime complaint was filed.
DoITT runs the City’s popular “NYCityMap,” which provides information to the public and allows other City agencies to leverage its open source platform to build mapping tools of their own. In addition to indicating the specific building requested, NYCityMap users can add layers to the map such as schools, day care centers, senior centers, libraries, hospitals, and more. This tool also provides a single access point for many of the location-based applications on NYC.gov such as online property, building, census, statistics, and safety information for New York City.
DoITT has worked with agencies across the City to launch interactive maps. Some recent examples include:
- PlowNYC – delivers a new, public-facing view into the City’s snow clearing operations.
- NYC Street Closures – Pursuant to Local Law 32 of 2011, this tool displays street closure information across the five boroughs; provides real-time information on current and future street closures obstructing normal vehicular traffic due to road work, street fairs, block parties or festivals.
- NYC Census FactFinder – provides greater flexibility in searching for the most up-to-date population profiles for specific locations across the five boroughs. Users can now quickly examine 2010 Census data. i.e., how many people rent versus own homes in their community; the number of housing units in their neighborhoods, etc.
- NYCStat Stimulus Tracker – with this this award-winning tool New Yorkers can track the City’s use of federal recovery funds provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
- 311 Service Request Map – provides location and status information for 311 complaints filed over the past year, as well as those recently closed, across 15 categories and more than 100 subcategories, all allowing users to evaluate conditions and trends from the hyper-local to citywide levels.
Here at DoITT, we are enthusiastic about sharing the meaning of public service with our community. We asked our staff about their experiences in working in NYC government. Enjoy their anecdotes below.
Jean Jones, Human Resources, DoITT
“I first came to the City as a summer graduate intern in the Department of Finance’s Training & Special Programs Unit. A year later, I returned to Finance as a Labor Relations Analyst. Initially, I didn’t think I would have a career in government. I anticipated staying no more than five years to get some experience under my belt. I am approaching my 12th year of service!
I’m still here because despite the challenges that are often characteristic of public service—scarce resources, strict guidelines that govern how we operate, and red tape—success is still achieved daily. Services are provided to millions of residents and businesses because of the work that we do. Even though I have never worked in an operational area, understanding my contribution to the agency’s mission is especially rewarding. I am privileged to work with people who are knowledgeable, diligent, and committed the needs of the Agency and the City we serve.”
Paul H. Baity, IT Security, DoITT
“My first exposure to government service was growing up in Illinois, where I often visited my grandmother in Springfield, the state capitol, and President Lincoln’s museums nearby. I took a year off in college to work as an intern at the NYC Dept. of City Planning. After a two more internships in Providence City and Rhode Island State government, I transferred to NYU as a “Pre-Gov” student, worked as an HPD intern, and helped run the City’s Summer Management Internship Program for what is now DCAS.
In 1979, my first salaried City job began at the City’s DOI, where I worked in its Corruption Prevention/Management Review/Computer Security Units, while earning my Master’s of Public Administration at night from what is now NYU’s Wagner School, receiving a NYC Mayor’s Graduate Scholarship. Upon graduation, I moved to NYC OMB for eleven years, the first three in its Computer Capital Budget Unit, transferring to its MIS Unit to run, in turn, its S/38, AS/400, and Banyan PC LAN, as a systems admin until 1992.
When my Dad moved to Richmond, VA, I worked as a federal IT contractor, running one of USDA’s Help Desks in Washington, DC.
I rejoined the City in 1995 as a network admin for DoITT’s former InSource Consulting Unit, working at 16 different agencies, including the Mayor’s Office, until 1999, when I returned to DOITT full-time to join in the Y2K effort and assist in running DoITT’s Banyan LAN, Lotus Notes/Blackberry email system, and the incipient DOITT and CSC AD/Exchange domains. I moved with the Citywide Novell LDAP Directory to the DOITT IT Security team in 2005, where I currently work on the afternoon/evening shift supporting the NYC.ID virtualized Linux infrastructure.”
Stacey Abramson, Human Resources, DoITT
”I started my career with the City of New York during the Koch administration as a Summer College Intern with the Department of Buildings. Upon graduating college, the Department of Buildings offered me a full time position in the Program Management and Analysis division, and within a year, I was offered a promotional opportunity in the Human Resources division. At the time I didn’t realize that it was actually the start of my career in Human Resources - and could never have imagined I would still be working for the City 30 years later!
In 1988, I learned about a new exciting agency, the Computer and Data Communications Services Agency (now DoITT), created to launch a new era in City government. The mission was to provide and manage technology services for the City. By 1989, I was offered a position in their HR division and it was then that my attitude towards City government change. Working for the City is very rewarding, especially when you work for an agency that touches the lives of all New Yorkers. DoITT is constantly evolving and making the city more efficient with every passing year. This agency has such dedicated and talented employees, which makes my job even more rewarding to assist staff in achieving their professional goals and to ensure that they are well informed of the civil service process. Although I am not directly involved with DoITT’s myriad of technology projects and initiatives, I take pride in being part of an agency that is so important to the City of New York.”
Lisa Templeton, Emergency Planning & Coordination, DoITT
“New York City is an area iconic for finance, business, culture, the Arts, and terrorism. Its 8 million residents; its hundreds of thousands of businesses, and tens of millions of visitors converge annually on this great City –the City that never sleeps where government services are provided 24/7/365. It’s a daunting task to manage government services in the urban environment and the infrastructure that supports them.
As a public servant the last six years at the Department of IT and Telecommunications (DoITT) in roles from grant writer to emergency planner, I’ve enjoyed working within and outside of the agency with local, state and federal stakeholders on communications initiatives that ultimately benefit our residents, businesses and visitors. These programs improve the quality of life; they provide for life safety and enhance situational awareness.
DoITT infrastructure helps agencies transform, modernize and streamline their business processes too; from the secure transfer of critical information to the coordination of mobile resources that result in improved delivery of citywide services.”
Stewart Fleisig, Enterprise Contracts, DoITT
”Twenty years ago I attended a NYC Dept of Personnel (no longer a stand alone NYC agency) seminar on increasing cooperation in the workplace. The speaker made a comment that stood out and that I never forgot….something to the effect that working in the NYC Government environment would be one of the most enriching experiences one could have because of the extraordinary diversity of ethnic backgrounds in the NYC Govt work force. I am fortunate to say that her words were absolutely prophetic and that I have indeed been personally and greatly enriched by my 25 years of service alongside an extraordinarily diverse group of talented colleagues.
“I am most proud of designing Citywide contracts that not only offer all NYC agencies deep discounts (generating significant savings for the taxpayer) but also offer these agencies “ease of use” that allows them to order goods or services in a fraction of the time and effort they would need to develop their own procurement vehicles. Affirming the impact of the latter benefit, I will never forget my amazement nine years ago at our CISCO Citywide Contract presentation to 15 agencies. At the end of the presentation agency representatives came forward and I was sure they were excited about the significant discounting. In fact, they were much, much more excited about cutting down the procurement time frame from three months to one week!”
Catching up with April Turner, DoITT’s Citywide Service Desk Director
“Calls to our service desk are recorded for quality assurance. We take the time to listen and see how our technicians assist clients. We want to know if our soft skills training pays off. It’s important for us to be accountable for the services we provide.” – April Turner
April Turner, Director of the CityWide Service Desk, shared highlights with us about her team and her customer service vision. The CityWide Service Desk is a centralized, single point of contact for 15 agencies to report IT incidents, make requests, and check ticket status. April led the integration of soft skills training, technical training, and quality assurance into the service desk’s 24/7 operations. April has six years of experience at DoITT and is proud that her team is prepared to help clients with a range of issues from software installations to network connectivity.
“Training and quality assurance checks are essential,” said April. “It’s our responsibility to equip our service desk technicians with a strong foundation in communications. They handle phone calls; they interact with our customers to solve problems. And, with solid technical training in wireless accounts, user authentication, telephony issues, and case management, our team addresses the needs of our City.”
April has also been involved with the opening of DoITT’s Network Operations Center (NOC). This new center, with over 90 seats, consolidates operations teams in one location (e.g. Citywide Service Desk, Network Operations, Linux/Unix, Messaging, Mainframe, and NYCWin backup operations)
As April looks ahead, she continues to spearhead innovative initiatives for the CityWide Service Desk. For example, “My Desk” is an employees-only and self-directed IT service portal that will launch by the end of summer. It will empower City employees to better explain their IT incidents and requests through detailed form submissions. This portal addresses the needs of City employees who prefer to report IT incidents and requests online rather than over the phone, and it eliminates the back-and-forth exchange of clarification emails between customers and service desk technicians.
Additionally, the NOC has several more components that will be complete by the end of summer 2013. This includes creating a situation room, a training room, and offices.
This weekend, we stopped by the NYC BigApps Hackathon at the offices of Huffington Post! Developers and teams assembled Saturday and Sunday to build apps related to Healthy Living and Lifelong Learning and compete for $10,000 in cash prizes.
Check out the winners of this Hackathon:
Acting like Pavlov, this mobile app helps condition the user to make healthy choices. The app will detect your location, allow you to set your preferences and then act on its own to guide you towards the healthy locations around you and on your route.
HealthBux helps more New Yorkers take advantage of the NYC Health Bucks program so that so that they and their families lead healthier lives.
Salmon: Don’t Just Get There
Salmon is an app that allows users to find paths between destinations that encourage movement, health, and well being.
Plexx. Training the World
Plexx is a mobile training app where people can learn the skills they need to obtain a job and build a career.
CUNY Bound is an open source educational resource for the 11,000 underprepared high school graduates who arrive to New York community colleges every year. The website offers interactive tools for reviewing the standard math, reading, and writing material covered by New York City curriculum.
LearnTogether - Online Study Groups for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
LearnTogether provides online study groups for students who are taking Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
Learn how to get involved with NYC BigApps, New York City’s ultimate data software challenge offering $150,000 in prizes. The submission deadline is June 7 at 5:00 PM EST.
Photo credit: Grace Cheung/NYCEDC
Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge finalists exhibited their prototype ideas at the New Museum Ideas City StreetFest on May 4 on the Bowery in the Lower East Side.
.NYC Top Level Domain
Soon the prestige of a New York City address or area code will extend to the digital realm. With its application for .nyc in 2012, New York became one of the first cities in the world to pursue its own geographic top-level domain. A top-level domain or TLD, is the last part of an Internet address, such as .com, .org or .edu.
mydotnyc.com is an informational website which provides initial .nyc details so the public can stay informed on the launch.
With the historic launch of the .nyc TLD, the City will embrace its digital future in a powerful way and bring an unprecedented level of geographic authority to the digital sphere. In addition, the City will generate revenue, help residents locate government services, encourage local businesses to thrive, market and promote tourism, and spread the dynamic image of New York City around the world.
For more information, visit mydotnyc.com or follow @dotnyc on Twitter.
Subway WiFi Now Available in 36 stations in NYC!
Riders will be able to use free public WiFi to stay connected underground. They will also be able to make and receive calls, send and receive text messages and emails, stream music, and more through the network. This public-private partnership among various wireless carriers and public agencies, including DoITT, aims to complete a wireless network in the NYC subway system. In addition to the current 36 stations, it is expected that the remaining 241 underground stations will have wireless service within 4 years. Other fun facts:
Many subway stations in Manhattan including Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Lincoln Center, and Columbus Circle, are now WiFi-enabled. Grand Central, 34th St Herald Square, and Bryant Park stations will be available soon.
Emergency calls to 911, through E911, allow dispatchers to know when a call is being placed from an underground platform
150 miles of fiber optic cable will eventually connect all 277 NYC subway stations to data centers
The WiFi network, provided by Boingo, has the following SSID: FreeWifibyHTCONE
Visit http://www.nycsubwaywireless.com/ to find which stations have wireless service
This year’s NYC BigApps is well underway and according to CollabFinder, more than 277 people are participating. Many hackathons and panels have already taken place, and there are more scheduled! Data enthusiasts, developers, designers, students, civic innovators, and technologists are coming together every week to discuss BigIssues: jobs and economic mobility, cleanweb, lifelong learning, and healthy living.
Some highlights from NYC BigApps events held to date:
Jobs & Economic Mobility Hackathon: 4/20-4/21
- ChildCareDesk won first place at this weekend’s Jobs & Economic Mobility Hackathon. Some popular NYC OpenData sets included: Workforce 1 Career Center Locations, Mayor’s Office Directory of Programs for the Young Men’s Initiative and the Center for Economic Opportunity, and NYC Day Care Center Locations.
(Pro tip: if you’re looking for data that connect with the challenges’ BigIssues, check out the metatags on the NYC OpenData portal.)
NYC BigApps Data Visualization Evening: 4/10
- Alex Chen, Creative Director at Google’s Creative Lab, spoke about MTA.me, his subway music + data visualization
- Lauren Talbot, Chief Programmer at the Mayor’s Office of Analytics of the City of New York, shared details about her work involving predictive analytics and data sharing among City agencies to improve policy and planning
NYC BigApps Expo and Hackathon Weekend: 4/6-4/7
- Watch DoITT’s vine video of the Big Apps Expo and Hackathon Weekend
- One breakout session focused on how to build a civic app and fostered idea-sharing about designing and developing civic technology with Volkan Unsal and Jeff Ferzoco.
Stay tuned for more BigApps news – the contest runs through June 7th, 2013!
Sign up for an upcoming event
Help Build the Digital City
To bring innovative new contracting procedures to NYC technology projects, DoITT today issued a Request for Proposals for System Integration (SI) services. Systems Integrators can now help design, build and implement applications, networks, systems or IT infrastructure by applying to two different classes of service – one for smaller IT initiatives and the other for larger IT projects. The two classes were designed to encourage a diverse range of SI firms to submit proposals, leveraging the city’s talented and ever-growing tech sector. From small start-ups to global IT firms, any SI can apply and help NYC lead the way as a tech-driven city.
Examples of past projects include:
- The Office of the Criminal Justice Coordinator/Data Analytics Center’s Financial Intelligence Center, which integrates City agency data on persons, places or businesses for on-demand secure access by the enforcement and regulatory community and analysis for criminal trends and threats.
- The Correction Department’s Jail Management System, which enhances the legacy Inmate Information System and incorporates changes in policies, regulations, and oversight agencies.
- The Taxi and Limousine Commission’s Electronic Summonsing app, which modernizes enforcement processes enabling inspectors to perform tasks in the field, including researching a licensee’s background, sorting through some 1,800 violation rules, and creating summonses with violation specific hearing dates and times.
Find out more about providing System Integration Services by registering to download the Request for Proposals. Registration is required so that you will be notified of any updates.
- May 6, 2013 at 2PM: RSVPs due for pre-proposal info-session. Email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or fax (347-788-4080) this form to confirm your attendance.
- May 15, 2013 at 10:30AM: Pre-proposal Conference: Emigrant Bank Building, 49-51 Chambers Street, Lobby.
- May 20, 2013 at 2:00PM: Last day to submit questions to email@example.com.
- June 20, 2013 at 2:00PM: Proposals due
Ideas City Festival to Feature Finalists from Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge
IDEAS CITY is a biennial festival in New York City that explores the nexus of cities and technology, education, and the arts. Among the featured exhibitions will be prototypes submitted by finalists of the Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge: the City’s invitation to technologists and developers to redesign the payphone.
The theme of this year’s Ideas City festival is Untapped Capital, with participants focused on reinventing underutilized city services. To this end, the City has sought input from the talented technology, urban design, architecture, and maker community to explore how payphones could be reimagined to optimize public space and deliver vital information and services.
The exhibition will take place during StreetFest on Saturday, May 4th, from 11AM-6PM at the corner of Bowery and Rivington.
For more information on the exhibition, visit on.nyc.gov/XCNFSa