Tuesday, April 7, 2015

State Government Goes Mobile with the Development of Apps

Picture of a smartphone
Courtesy of Pixabay
In January 2014, the Pew Research Center provided a Mobile Technology Fact Sheet that indicated that 58% of American adults owned a smartphone. The Pew Research Center also reports that 42% of adult internet users use the internet to get government services or information. State agencies across the United States are leveraging this data by developing mobile apps as a way to provide government services and information to people on the go.

Are you curious about what mobile apps have already been developed? The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) maintains a State Mobile Apps Catalog for smartphone and tablet apps developed by state governments in all 50 states. To qualify for entry in the catalog, the apps must be developed by the state or in conjunction with a state agency and cannot be developed by a third party provider. Apps must also be state specific apps and cannot be nationwide, federal, or city specific apps. Apps for higher education such as universities, high schools, or other educational institutions are also not included in this catalog.

Below I've highlighted the apps Wisconsin state agencies have developed so far. Mobile apps are just one more way for state agencies to engage with people living in Wisconsin in a format that meets their needs.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation
  • Zero in Wisconsin - Drive Sober “This mobile application has been developed to assist individuals who may have had too much to drink find a safe ride home other than driving. It also serves to provide interactive information on the dangers of impaired driving.” (DOT)
  • WI DMV Driver Practice Test “Use this mobile app as a practice guide to help you prepare for the knowledge test that all new drivers must pass to obtain a learner’s permit. Also, test yourself to stay sharp and up-to-date on basic driver safety.” (DOT)
  • WI DMV Commercial Driver Practice Test “The Wisconsin CDL practice knowledge test is a great resource for people looking for a career in commercial driving. Individuals may test themselves to stay sharp and up-to-date on basic commercial driver safety.” (DOT)
Wisconsin Department of Revenue
  • WI Revenue “The Wisconsin Revenue mobile app allows you to use a number of popular tax-related online services found on the website, such as: refund look-up, estimated tax look-up, free tax help, and training videos.” (DOR)
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • The Official Guide for Wisconsin State Parks and Forests ”This app gives outdoor enthusiasts an environmentally-friendly way to enjoy the parks. It contains everything you need to plan a trip to the state parks, navigate them once you get there, and share your experiences afterward.” (DNR)
  • The Official Guide for Wisconsin’s Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife ”This innovative outdoor guide brings the wilderness to your fingertips and helps you plan the perfect adventure in the great outdoors. With essential hunting information already published and fishing and wildlife information on the way, the app is the ultimate source for essential outdoor information.” (DNR)
Wisconsin Department of Tourism
  • Travel Wisconsin ”Find nearby attractions, events, dining and accommodations right as you travel the state with the Travel Wisconsin™ app. Browse Wisconsin events by distance, date and location and find things to do by searching categories such as "Arts" or "Natural Attractions." Search accommodations by hotel, B&B, campground, or resort and zero in on the amenities you want to find for the perfect place to stay.” (Tourism)
Written by:
Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning
Mary Hutnik, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning