May 30th, 2013
The Delaware Public Meeting Calendar (calendar.delaware.gov) now includes a small number of local government meetings, along with state agency meetings.
The recent update of the Calendar system added the ability for local governments to join and post their meetings. While state agencies are required to use the system, local governments are not; recent legislation tasked the GIC with opening the Calendar to any interested local governments.
The first local government body to add their meetings to the Calendar has been the Lewes Board of Public Works, which provides utility services to the City of Lewes.
April 30th, 2013
The delaware.gov portal has been re-engineered as a fully responsive site, to make it easier for visitors to use the site and the large volume of information it serves on all web-browsing devices. The portal has also been tuned to make it faster-loading and “lighter” in your browser.
Responsive web design is a new approach to designing web sites which recognizes that a rapidly growing portion of the web-surfing public is using mobile devices — smartphones and tablets — to access content. Responsive sites are designed to adjust to meet the various screen sizes of different devices, from large desktop screens to handheld smartphone screens.
Until now, the Government Information Center maintained a separate, very limited selection of portal content at mobile.delaware.gov. With responsive design, that site is no longer needed; state portal content is published once in a portal that automatically adjusts to match the devices, and screen sizes, used by all visitors.
The new responsive design has been implemented on the delaware.gov portal and on the portal topics pages that provide links to a broad range of state resources. Several other sites within the state system, notably Governor Markell’s web site, have also moved to the new, responsive architecture.
Responsive web design, and the architecture implemented in the new version of the delaware.gov portal, form the basis for a new statewide Common Look and Feel standard and Web Content Guidelines recently approved by the state’s IT agency. Over the rest of 2013, the new Common Look and Feel will be adopted by the rest of the web pages that follow the state’s main IT standards.
April 19th, 2013
The Delaware Public Meeting Calendar application created by eGovernment partner Delaware Interactive has been updated with a new release that adds functionality, refines the public view of meeting information, and opens the system to use by local governments.
The latest release of the Calendar includes reminders for state agency personnel who post meetings to help them meet the requirements of the state’s Freedom of Information Act. The calendar view seen by the public has been upgraded to include more information and to reformat that information. Users can now, for example, use a calendar style “date-picker” to search for meetings.
And the system has been expanded to allow use by local government agencies — municipalities, counties, regional organizations and the like. No local governments have yet signed up, but GIC staff are talking to several about using the system.
The Public Meeting Calendar was originally released in spring of 2012. It replaced an older calendar system that had been in place for 8 years, but which depended out out-dated technology.
April 2nd, 2013
Delawareans can now use their smartphones to send crime tips to Delaware State Police. A new Mobile Crime Tips app has been added to the collection of apps available at apps.delaware.gov. The app, announced by the Delaware State Police, allows users to report information on possible crime activity directly to a special State Police e-mail address.
Users can report a wide variety of information, including locations, activity descriptions, descriptions of subjects and vehicles, and photographs directly to the Police. Users can make their reports anonymously, if they like.
Apart from the mobile application, anyone who wishes to submit a tip may do so by calling the toll-free number 800-TIP-3333, emailing the DSP directly at email@example.com or by submitting information online.
The State Police Crime Tips app joins a growing list of smartphone apps that includes an app to report suspicious activity to Delaware’s homeland security officials. The Delaware Force 1-2 app helps Delawareans make reports to the Delaware Information Analysis Center (DIAC).
March 27th, 2013
The Delaware Department of Agriculture has announced the release of a Windows 8 version of the popular Delaware Fresh app. The new app was created by eGovernment partner Delaware Interactive and based on the iPhone and Android versions of Delaware Fresh. All are available at apps.delaware.gov.
Delaware Fresh provides a seasonally updated listing of farmer’s markets and other agritourism sites in Delaware presented on an interactive map, with details, links to web sites and driving directions.
Windows 8 apps are designed to work on a wide variety of web-browsing devices, from mobile phones and tablets to Windows 8 desktops. This version of Delaware Fresh is the first Windows 8 app developed as part of the Delaware eGovernment initiative.
March 6th, 2013
The GIC, working with OMB, has developed a simple news page focused on Flag Status questions, such as “why are the flags at half-staff?” The Flag Status page presents a simple graphic representation of the status of both the US and State of Delaware flags and provides links to recent flag-related news in Delaware.
GIC has created a small, simple flag status widget that web masters can add to their pages that will always reflect the latest updated flag status and will link to the flag status page. You can see an example on our home page.
This widget is inserted as an iFrame using the code found in this PDF:
Flag Status Code (Open PDF to copy code)
The align=”right” element causes this image to align itself on the right side of the page. Delete this section and the widget will appear in the center of a page. Make it align=”left” to have the widget appear to the left of your text.
January 19th, 2013
Three streets in Dover have been renamed, as of January 19, 2013. Court Street became Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., William Penn Street became Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. South, and Duke of York Street became Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. North.
That means that a number of state offices, including the Governor’s Dover office, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Delaware Public Archives have new addresses. Our business cards will be out of date for a bit, but we can, and did, start updating web site information this week.
Web site managers at OMB report updating over 30 pages. Here at GIC, we reviewed and updated addresses in the database that feeds the public Phone Directory Search tool. That database also provides location information for a number of the affected agency web sites, which makes the update easier. But we’re on the watch for pages, with address information, that we may have missed.
If you see an outdated address on a state agency web site, please send us a short note at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know the offending URL.
What we can’t control is the data found in on-line maps such as Google Maps and Bing. We, and the city of Dover, have submitted reports to some of these sites alerting them to the change, but updating national data sets takes time. So forgive us, please, if a locations page we post includes a correct Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in text but shows a map with a pin along William Penn Street.
January 16th, 2013
DART First State and the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) have both launched new mobile web sites that bring information and resources to Delawareans who take advantage of the state’s public transportation and those who drive their own cars.
The DART First State mobile site includes tools for riders to plan a trip, view transit routes and schedules and get rider alerts. The site, developed by DART First State, is optimized for mobile devices and will work on all mobile web browsers.
The DMV mobile site, equally adapted for mobile devices, helps Delaware drivers find DMV locations, check out wait times, view DMV webcams, and more. The site is specifically to serve DMV customers.
Both sites are examples of mobile-friendly applications that use modern web tools to create sites that work well on mobile devices but are not dependent on iPhone, Android, or specific operating systems. While not technically “apps,” mobile sites are becoming more and more sophisticated and useful. The difference between “app” and mobile site is starting to blur.
January 11th, 2013
Decisions by the Merit Employee Relations Board (MERB) and Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) are now all posted on-line and fully searchable by name, rule, agency and other factors.
“We’re very excited to have this new capability,” said PERB and MERB Executive Director Deborah Murray-Sheppard. “This tool adds to our ability to share information about our work in an open and transparent way. It expands access to Delaware public sector employment law case lines established by the PERB and MERB since the agencies were created.”
The decisions are posted as PDF files and are searchable using a custom Google search application. The MERB decisions date back to 1995; the PERB decisions to 1984.