The District of Columbia’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) has launched a public beta version of the “DC Compass,” which uses generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) to answer data-oriented civic questions and create maps from thousands of open data sets.

The city said it partnered with Esri – a geographic information system (GIS) technology, location intelligence, and mapping providers – on the new tool. The public beta launch follows a six-month private beta testing period.

The private beta period allowed the city to work with Esri to improve the software to provide intuitive answers to requests.

The new Compass AI Assistant can be tested at OCTO and Esri said in a press release that they want more users to test the software and provide feedback to continue to improve the speed, accuracy, and usefulness of DC Compass’ responses.

“We are excited to be chosen as the first jurisdiction to use this groundbreaking technology and make our nearly 2,000 open data sets accessible to users with a simple AI-driven chatbot,” said Interim CTO Stephen Miller. “You no longer need to be a data scientist or a spreadsheet wizard to analyze DC’s vast open data catalog.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs