The District of Columbia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Boston have launched a joint Web project called "open 311," which provides open, free Application Programming Interface (API) access to city 311 systems for non-emergency city services. The new common open 311 platform will enable developers to create mobile and Web applications that work in all participating jurisdictions and allow residents to submit and track service requests anytime, anywhere.

APIs are Internet protocols that give programmers access to data on a Web server to build custom applications using that data. In June 2009, D.C. became the first city in the world to launch an Open 311 API, initially to serve developers participating in the District's second "Apps for Democracy" contest.

With the new, common open 311, a Washington resident can use the same application to report a pothole in the District and then check the status on the pothole repair while visiting Boston. "With Open 311, we're simplifying services, making them more accessible, and bringing government closer to the people," said D.C. Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Bryan Sivak. "I'm proud that the District is helping lead this innovation in digital democracy."

Learn more about D.C. government technology initiatives.