Aloha legislators: Hawaii launches app to connect with lawmakers


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The State of Hawaii has launched new online applications (“Apps”) to assist members of the public in identifying their legislative representatives and connecting live to each legislator’s website.

The two innovative Apps, Your 2014 Hawaii State Senate and Your 2014 Hawaii State House, were developed by the state Office of Planning (OP) and GIS vendor Esri in response to public interest. The resources utilize a combination of the state’s newly modernized geographic information systems (GIS) infrastructure and Esri’s ArcGIS Online platform.

“The Apps exemplify what is possible as part of the Digital Government vision laid out in the Business and Technology Transformation Plan, endorsed by Gov. Abercrombie,” said state Chief Information Officer (CIO) Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia. “They highlight the value of agile development methods that support collaboration and adaptability in meeting the needs of government with easy to use tools in relatively short time-frames. A big mahalo to Jesse Souki and Joan Delos Santos from the Office of Planning and Esri Pacific Islands Regional Manager Royce Jones for a job well done. This is an impressive use of GIS to quickly provide solutions in an easy-to-use application in response to a need identified by the public.”

During an Open Government workshop at the Hawaii Digital Government Summit on Nov. 21, 2013, members of the public were asked what information they would like the government to make more accessible. Sen. Jill Tokuda, who led the breakout group on legislative information, told workshop participants that members of her group were very interested in an App to help Hawaii citizens find their legislative representatives.

“This is a positive example of what can be done when we listen to the needs and ideas of the people and pair it with good data and skilled programmers who can transform these concepts into reality,” Sen. Tokuda said. “If we can accomplish this in such a short time frame, just imagine what we’ll be able to do moving forward with the recommendations and enthusiasm generated by the public at the November Hawaii Digital Government Summit.”

As always, comments or ideas are welcome to continuously improve the Apps. More features (such as an address locator) will be coming soon.

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Hawaii, Mobility, Sonny Bhagowalia, States, Tech News