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EPA’s Open Government Plan 3.0 Outline

2014 March 28

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a rich legacy as a transparent agency, and the Obama Administration’s Open Government (OpenGov) initiative has been a catalyst to re-examine our open practices with the goal of bringing tangible benefits to the public.   The Outline includes items that will be addressed in the Agency’s Open Government Plan 3.0, due later this summer, as well as a description of an exciting new project that is being considered as a candidate flagship.  Comments on the Plan Outline can be submitted below

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

What EPA data do you need most?

2013 November 26

The comment function for this entry on the Data and Developer Forum is an opportunity for the public to provide feedback and help inform the Agency as to what information is of greatest interest to the public  as we make decisions on which of its data assets it will promote for publication. This forum entry is part of EPA’s coordinated Open Data efforts which are described in its response to Executive Order 13642 and the Open Data Policy (M-13-13) located from http://www.epa.gov/digitalstrategy

 In addition to the information provided from the Data and Developer Forum, EPA will evaluate metrics from the public’s visits to its various web sites which can be useful in indicating which data resources are most frequently sought and of greatest interest.

 Please refer to EPA’s public data listing located at http://epa.gov/data to determine what data sets are currently made public. EPA is committing to a quarterly update of this data listing and will describe what changes were made during each quarterly release from update materials located that will be posted to http://www.epa.gov/digitalstrategy.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

The people have spoken: The Four Most Requested Green App Ideas

2013 June 20

EPA’s My Green Apps site features over 260 environmental apps that can help you live a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle. From measuring your carbon footprint to recycling to checking air and water quality in your area, these apps put information at your fingertips.

You’ve suggested lots of ideas for green apps and we’re thrilled that you’ve told us your favorites by “Liking” them over 850 times! ” We’ve highlighted the top four green app ideas below and matched them with existing apps about those topics. Give these apps a try and let us know what you think on Facebook or Twitter!

Developers: Why not try to make some of these apps? We’ve done market research about the apps people want and what’s already out there. Stay tuned for a future post about data you can use to convert these ideas into apps.

1. Recycling
IDEA: Create an app that shows the user where recycling centers are located for various kinds of waste.

EXISTING APPS

screen shot of iRecycle
iRecycle
earth911 Description: iRecycle is an easy and accessible way to get people plugged into local recycling opportunities. iRecycle provides access to more than 1.5 million ways to recycle plus the latest in green news and ideas to match your lifestyle.

screen shot of 1800Recycle
1800 Recycle
Google Play Description: 1800 Recycle helps you find recycling locations near you. Find address and contact information, get directions, and make your own personalized list so that recycling is a breeze.

screen shot of WeRecycle
We Recycle
Google Play Description: WeRecycle is a platform to facilitate communication about waste between citizens and their community. It consists of a community-built map of outdoor and event trash cans and recycle bins and a mobile app.

2. Air Quality/Environmental Information
IDEA: Create a GIS app that would track the user’s location to provide environmental information about the surrounding area.

EXISTING APPS

screen shot of Pollution

Pollution
iTunes Description: Pollution gives you up-to-date information about the levels of air pollution in your local area. You can get real-time data about electromagnetic pollution, air pollution, water pollution and pollution and emissions to soil.

screen shot of GreenSpaceMap

GreenSpaceMap
Google Play Description: GreenSpace Map allows you to view the sites that EPA regulates in your area to determine the proximity of reported sites within any 20-mile radius.

screen shot of AirCasting

AirCasting
Google Play Description: AirCasting is a platform for recording, mapping, and sharing health and environmental data using your smartphone. Each AirCasting session lets you capture real-world measurements, annotate the data to tell your story, and share it via the CrowdMap.

3. Carbon Footprint Tracking
IDEA: Create a carbon footprint calculator application that allows the user to enter information to determine what the carbon footprint is.

EXISTING APPS

screen shot of MyCO2Calculator

My CO2 Calculator
Google Play Description: My CO2 Carbon Calculator App allows you to quantify your effect on the environment while at work, home and while travelling.

screen shot of  iViro

iViro
iTunes Description: Save money and reduce your home’s environmental impact quickly and cheaply by completing a full home energy analysis and getting results on the best places to make changes.

screen shot of AmtrakCarbonFootprint

Amtrak Carbon Footprint
Amtrak Description: By measuring your carbon footprint with tools like a carbon calculator, you can get an idea of what level of emissions your lifestyle generates and where you can take action to reduce your individual impact on the environment.

4. Environmentally Friendly Products
IDEA: Create an app that allows users to identify a product via barcode scan or item look up and find details about the product from an environmental perspective.

EXISTING APPS

screen shot of MyCO2Calculator

Label Lookup
iTunes Description: You are in a store, considering what to buy and you see a claim on a product – maybe your cleaning product bears the Green Seal label, or a claim on the carton says the eggs are “Animal Welfare Approved.” What does it mean? Is it backed up by good standards? Pull out your iPhone and check it out on Label Lookup.

screen shot of  TrueFood

True Food
iTunes description: Go behind the label and get the facts on genetically modified foods! The True Food Shoppers Guide gives you valuable information on common GM ingredients, brands to look for — and look out for — and common sense tips to keep you in the know and help you find and avoid GM ingredients wherever you shop.

screen shot of GoodGuide

GoodGuide
iTunes description: The GoodGuide app instantly reveals whether products are safe, healthy, green and socially responsible while you shop. The app’s barcode scanning feature lets you quickly access GoodGuide’s science-based health, environment and social ratings for over 170,000 products.

Don’t see an app you’re looking for? Check out the list of green apps and search for an app by category or name. Still don’t see what you need? Suggest an app idea so developers know what you want.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

How Many Green Apps Are “Powered by EPA Data”?

2013 May 13

Here at EPA we established the My Green Apps website so people could find available apps to understand and protect the environment. The site features over 230 apps on topics ranging from green purchasing to saving energy to learning about air quality. There are even games about the environment.

An incredible 42 of these apps are powered by EPA data! (That’s in addition to nine EPA apps that use EPA data!) With green apps available for Apple, Android, Blackberry, and Windows platforms, it couldn’t be easier to find and download an app that meets your needs. Below we’ve listed a few of the highest-rated or most downloaded green apps that are powered by EPA data. For a full list of green apps, visit My Green Apps or download the green apps spreadsheet to get more details.

[Note to developers: here are some resources to help you make more and better green apps.

EPA Data Finder is a single site to find EPA’s data sources where you can download datasets or find data services.

EPA data on Data.gov provides government data and services in easily downloadable formats.

Developer Central offers resources, sample code and how-to guides for all levels of developers, from beginners to advanced coders.]

EPA SunWise UV Index Image of EPA Sunwise UV Index app

Everyone loves a nice, sunny day, but overexposure to the sun can lead to sunburn, skin cancer and cataracts if you aren’t careful about UV exposure. The UV Index provides a daily forecast of the expected intensity of UV radiation from the sun. Available for iOS, Android and Blackberry.

iTunes User Review:

“This is a useful app. I am a cyclist and hiker and am outside a lot, so a quick way to check the UV index is helpful. The app does what is says and is quick.” -Digital Oz

 

Light Bulb Finder Image of Light Bulb Finder app

The Light Bulb Finder mobile app makes it easy to switch from incandescent to energy-efficient light bulbs. It empowers users to make informed decisions based on their lighting needs and the financial and environmental impact of their choices. Available for iOS and Android.

Google Play User Review:

“Excellent, simple to use and really environment friendly. Every smart(phone) user should have this app.” -Google User

 

Image of My Place History appMy Place History

My Place History links public health information with personal environmental experience. Using geomedicine, this app allows you to achieve a greater understanding of how local environments affect health. Available for iOS.

iTunes User Review:

“This app gives a personal context to public data.”

 

Image of State of the Air appState of the Air

The State of the Air app from the American Lung Association gives you the ability to see what your lungs are collecting anywhere in the United States. Available for iOS and Android.

Google Play User Review:

It’s definitely the best air quality alert app out there. It helps give me an idea of whether I should run outside or hit the gym.” -Google User

 
 
We’re proud that so many apps are powered by EPA data. Share your experience about any green apps in the comment section below.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.