Does Open Data Build Trust? A story of Demond, police data, and his grandmother’s recycling bin


Rising ninth-grader Demond Fortenberry opened his first city data set: “Use of Force” records created by the Public Integrity Bureau at the New Orleans Police Department. As part of a three-day event engaging youth to build apps on top of soon-to-be released policing data sets, he was one of the first New Orleanians to ever see these records.

Read more of Demond’s story on the White House Medium channel

(View the email that announced this piece on the White House Blog.)



The path to open data (structured, machine-readable, and incident-level) in policing isn’t yet well-charted, and as a result, the privacy, technology, and political considerations can initially seem daunting. Often, the best way to begin an open data initiative is by delivering quick, low-risk wins to your stakeholders. Here are five ways jumpstart your police open data initiative…

Read this guest Code for America blogpost by Denice Ross and Jim Burch/Police Foundation


Lantern Live Mobile App

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, seemingly simple tasks such as refueling your car, were incredibly difficult. Few tools existed to determine which gas stations had fuel and the power to pump that fuel.

To help address this problem, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announces the launch of Lantern Live – a mobile app that allows users in disaster-affected areas to report on the status of local gas stations, find fuel, and easily look up power outage maps from local utilities. Lantern Live is part of the White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative, and represents the ingenuity and ethos found across Initiative projects.

Read the White House OSTP blog post by Brian Forde, Denice Ross and Derek Frempong

An App We Can Trust: Lessons Learned in Post-Katrina New Orleans

Gov 2.0 Expo 2010 Plenary Session

How many people have returned to New Orleans? What is the current population of neighborhoods? Businesses, city planners, and neighborhood advocates need these answers to determine where grocery stores should be reopened, where schools should be placed, and where volunteers should be deployed. This presentation outlines five generalizable lessons from this work about building a web app that people can trust.

‘Junk Mail’ to the Rescue in New Orleans

New Orleans Repopulation MapValassis Database a Boon to Repopulation Efforts

BATAVIA, Ohio ( — To people who have no use for junk mail, what’s happening in New Orleans may come as a surprise. Direct mail could help rebuild a city still struggling to recover as the three-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches. New Orleans has found a novel use for the massive database used by Valassis Communications’ RedPlum direct-mail operation. Normally used to send promotional circulars to virtually every household in the U.S., it’s now being used to track the speed of recovery in the Crescent City.

Read more…