Open Source

Help the Public Find Your Information, Wherever and However You’ve Published It

Aug 26, 2014 |

As traffic to desktop .gov websites declines, how we publish our content increasingly matters. We need to meet people where they are as they seek information on the Internet. To do so, we need to adjust to the new world of mobile applications, social media, and instant answers provided by search engines. Freeing Content from Read »

The Contributor’s Guide to 18F: Code for the Common Good

Aug 15, 2014 |

Introduction Transparency in coding makes code more secure. Open-source development is development in the light, sometimes a harsh light, that shows every blemish. At 18F we strongly believe this improves the rapidity of our coding and the quality and security of the code. We keep the code open to each other, which allows us to Read »

Working In Public From Day 1

Aug 4, 2014 |

In the wide world of software, maybe you’ve heard someone say this, or maybe you’ve said it yourself: “I’ll open source it after I clean up the code; it’s a mess right now.” Or: “I think there are some passwords in there; I’ll get around to cleaning it out at some point.” Or simply: “No Read »

Mobile Gov Code Chop Shop: Help Department of Labor Share Their App Functionality Gov-wide

Jul 21, 2014 | ,

You’ve just found a great open source fed agency app on the Mobile Code Sharing Catalog, and would love to use one of its cool functionalities for your own agency’s app. As federal agencies release more and more code to the open source Read »

Plop Plop, Fizz Fizz, Oh What a Relief Social Media Is!

Jul 17, 2014 |

We often think of social media as a way to expand our audience, but some public health departments are using it as a new tool for tracking outbreaks of salmonella, e. coli, and other foodborne illnesses. It’s a familiar story: A nice meal out results in days of gastrointestinal discomfort when you realize only too Read »

Broadcasting Board of Governors Use “Relay” Tool to Cover the World Cup

Jun 26, 2014 |

World Cup fever, everyone’s got it—even the Broadcasting Board of Governors‘ (BBG) Voice of America has reporters covering the event. For this year’s World Cup, VOA has teamed up with the Office of Digital and Design Innovation (a digital team inside Read »

The API Briefing: Quick Guide to Using GitHub – FDA’s OpenFDA Research Project

Jun 11, 2014 |

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just released the OpenFDA Research Project. At the heart of the project is the OpenFDA API, which allows developers to perform searches on FDA’s drug information database. Coming soon is the ability to search FDA information on medical devices and information about food. Visit the Read »

Introductory Call for the Disaster Apps Challenge

May 20, 2014 |

The National Defense University (NDU) is hosting a conference call Friday, May 23, to spread the word about the Disaster Apps Challenge Competition, which opened yesterday. This call is open to the public, specifically the people who are interested Read »

Packaging Up API Usability Testing for Agency Reuse

May 20, 2014 |

Over the past year, a GSA collaboration has seen a project that offers API Usability Testing to federal agencies go from the pilot stage to a regular, robust series. Already, 13 agencies and programs have participated, and several more participate with every monthly session Read »

Designing in the Open Training Recap

May 16, 2014 |

During the recent redesign of, the team developed a process that helped them respond to public feedback, track the actions and hold themselves accountable. In a DigitalGov University webinar, “Designing in the Open—Public Participation in Government Web Design,” Phil Ashlock, chief architect at, and Jeanne Holm, evangelist, shared how integrating feedback from Read »

Analyzing Search Data in Real-Time to Drive Decisions

May 7, 2014 |

DigitalGov Search recently rolled out a new open source technology stack, which gives the team access to real-time analytics and dashboards to monitor search trends. Read »

Search Is the New Big Data Recap

Apr 18, 2014 |

Search is easy, right? You type a term in a search box and the exact page you’re looking for appears at the top of the list of results. But search is hard and has many shades of grey. On April 10, 2014, Loren Siebert, our DigitalGov Search senior search architect, presented on: Complexities of recall Read »

DigitalGov Search: Our Open Source Strategy

Mar 24, 2014 |

At DigitalGov Search, we keep an eye on on our what our government counterparts are up to, both in the U.S. and other countries. We recently came across Gov.UK’s philosophy on and approach to coding in the open. It caught our attention and we realized we should also articulate our open source strategy. Use and Contribute to Open Read »

Alternative Fueling Station Locator App from the Department of Energy

Jan 30, 2014

So: You decided to purchase a car that takes advantage of more environmentally friendly fuel. Congratulations! Now, you need to find a place to fill the tank that offers more than just regular gas. The new Alternative Fueling Station Locator app from the folks at the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory is a must-try. The new iPhone app will Read »

Best Practices for Open Source in Government (Using GitHub)

Nov 6, 2013 |

Working on getting your agency to release an open source policy? Awesome! But if you want an effective open source program, you have to tightly integrate open source into how your agency procures, builds, and distributes technology. You’re not alone! There’s a growing community of Read »