Civic Awesome: Open Data In The News For August 15, 2014
This week’s biggest open data stories are all about the opening of data (imagine that!)
Seriously, we love to see a surge in the open data movement and an uptick in the information governments are making available. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at who was releasing what data this week…
On August 12th, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) launched an open data portal to serve as “a single point-of-entry to data sources that can be used for reporting, creating web tools and mobile applications…” The first sets of data include poverty rates, vendors who accept WIC, health care facilities, and asthma reports, among others.
Previously available only in (the dreaded) PDF format, New York City will now make available its entire “City Record,” which includes announcements, meetings, and procurement information dating back to 1873, as searchable, downloadable files on the City’s open data portal. As Mayor de Blasio signed the bill mandating this improvement into law, separate legislation has also been proposed to require any change to the City Charter, administrative code, and city rules to be posted online within 30 days.
Australian Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the Commonwealth will open an additional 6,000 data sets in the coming months. Currently, 3,700 data sets are available. These soon to be released data will include finance, energy, infrastructure, and government accountability information. The government is also considering providing additional funding for programs using its open data sets.
States and cities and entire continents are opening new data. (Awesome!) But is what they are opening what people are looking for? That’s the question good government group, Reinvent Albany is asking. To answer it they FOIL’ed all New York State FOIL requests. In doing so, Reinvent Albany determined which data sets are most interesting and highly valued by the public. The organization recommends that by publishing their frequently FOIL’ed data, government agencies such as New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, could reduce the number of FOIL request by 50%.