Civic Awesome: Open Data In The News For August 22, 2014
How are your state and city doing? (In terms of open data, we mean.) That’s much of the focus of this week’s Civic Awesome, as we look at two reports ranking states and cities on open data availability. Then, we’ll turn to examples of cities working to create greater transparency and open data access.
The Center for Data Innovation conducted an assessment to determine where each US state ranks in terms of open data policies and portals. The winners? Maryland, New York, Illinois, Hawaii, Oklahoma, and Utah. Those six states tied with the most points, as each have open data policies requiring portals to publish data in machine-readable formats. Eight states, which do not have policies or open data portals, find themselves tied at the bottom of the list, including Louisiana, Massachusetts, and Alabama.
Speaking of open data assessments, SpotCrime (featured on this blog in July) ranked major US cities by how transparent their police agencies are with crime data and shared their findings via the Sunlight Foundation. The highest ranking cities have consistently kept their crime data open. Somewhere in the middle are cities who have open data, but provide it only in non-machine-readable formats. Cities like Las Vegas, Omaha, and San Jose round out the bottom of the list, providing no open access to crime data.
The City and County of San Francisco released a new version of DataSF with improvements in its design and usability. Not only have they gone with a more beautiful tile design, but the site now includes a simplified category structure, find-by-department utility, and greater searchability. All the improvements were developed after San Francisco conducted a user survey and took an exhaustive look at what other open data sites are doing.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Abhi Nemani, former co-executive director of Code for America, will join his administration as the city’s first Chief Data Officer. Namani will be charged with creating tools to access and use data, especially as it can “help solve everyday challenges of [LA’s] residents.” The CDO will operate out of the Mayor’s Office of Budget and Innovation, working in close collaboration with Peter Marx, Garcetti’s first Innovation Technology Officer.