Virginia.gov Launches Citizen-Friendly Upgrades

RICHMOND, Va. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — August 9, 2010 — Robust geospatial mapping tools, transparency resources, real-time social networking feeds, improved organization, a blog-like news feature and citizen rating tools highlight upgrades on the Commonwealth of Virginia’s official Web site, www.virginia.gov.

These just-completed initiatives, combined with valuable new agency online services, enable Virginia government to significantly improve interactions with citizens and businesses.

“Smart Web resources are proven tools to better enable the business of government through technology,” said Samuel A. Nixon Jr., Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth. “New functionality on our state Web site represents our continued pursuit of excellence in efficient, cost-effective service delivery.”

Nixon said the recent enhancements demonstrate Virginia’s commitment to fostering innovation, promoting transparency and increasing online service delivery.

Virginia.gov is a public-private partnership between the Commonwealth, represented by the Virginia Information Technologies led by Nixon, and Virginia Interactive.

“The goal is to provide economical and user-friendly avenues to easily complete business with the state online,” said Lynn McDaniel, general manager at Virginia Interactive.

Helpful new mapping functionality represents collaboration between state agencies, localities and Virginia Interactive. Geographic information system (GIS) mapping now is prominently visible on home and landing pages of the Web site. Tools include a zoom and drag ability, a selection of functional interest layers and a community mash-up, which integrates the locality layer with enhanced weather, traffic and event feeds.

Map data is served from VITA through the Virginia Geographic Information Network’s (VGIN) Geospatial Enterprise Platform (GEP), a statewide shared service. All map data comes from government rather than commercial sources, making it more current than any private source. Base map data originates from VITA’s statewide GIS and 9-1-1 collaboration with agencies and localities. Localities update road data through VGIN quarterly.

Transparency efforts are highlighted at www.Open.Virginia.gov. Business intelligence tools are used to provide information about stimulus projects, state and locality expenditures, budget and performance metrics. Dashboards provide timely information and metrics about government activities for citizens.

The portal also serves as a central directory for the many Virginia government entities that now deliver information via social media tools, including YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter and Flickr. New portal features now provide real-time government social network feeds on the home page.

Virginia’s award-winning widgets also have expanded. A hotel booking widget builds upon the Department of Tourism’s online reservation system and feeds the service to social networks and Web sites. Spotlight on Virginia is a new blog-like feature providing state-wide weekly Web articles. Interactive ratings allow citizens to provide dynamic feedback for several Web site elements.

The project team for the portal upgrade was led by Virginia Interactive, VITA and the Department of Rehabilitative Services.

About Virginia Interactive

Virginia Interactive is a mutually beneficial contractual relationship established between Enterprise Applications Division (EAD), a division of the Virginia Information Technology Agency’s (VITA), and Virginia Interactive. Virginia Interactive, a subsidiary of NIC, manages the commonwealth’s portal and develops eGovernment websites and services.

About NIC

NIC is the nation's leading provider of government websites, online services, and secure payment processing solutions. The company's innovative eGovernment services help reduce costs and increase efficiencies for government agencies, citizens, and businesses across the country. The NIC family of companies provides eGovernment solutions for more than 3,000 federal, state, and local agencies that serve 98 million people in the United States. Additional information is available at http://www.nicusa.com.



Contact:

Virginia Information Technologies Agency
Marcella Williamson
(804) 416-6002
Email Contact
or
Virginia Interactive
Deanna Boehm
(804) 786-4230
Email Contact




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