Civic Awesome: Open Data In The News For August 8, 2014
They say all politics is local. Well, this week, all open data is local. Or, at least, all open data news is local as Civic Awesome takes a look at what’s happening open-data-wise in cities around the globe. Let’s start in the UK and work our way west…
An open data site specifically examining West Sussex’s performance dealing with education, the economy, and support for the elderly has been launched. The data reveal the Council is doing well with regard to job creation and other economic goals, but is not meeting its objectives for children’s services. Still, as West Sussex County Council leader Louise Goldsmith explains, the point isn’t about appearing to achieve every goal, it’s about providing information so citizens can hold their government accountable in an easy and accessible way.
Following a successful run of its pilot open data program, in which 17 datasets were made available in 2013, Halifax’s regional council is drafting an administrative order to oversee the creation of a permanent open data catalogue. If approved, the new catalogue would include datasets on tax rates, parking meters, and geospatial data all in “a searchable format.”
Montgomery County, Maryland published a new website showing how its operating budget is spent. “Users can drill down to the tiniest expense of a single section of one county government department, share and embed the charts they’ve created and still have access to the raw data in spreadsheet form…” The launch is answering the call for greater transparency, so much so, that Montgomery County citizens are now calling for the opening of more data, specifically on public school spending, which makes up about half the county’s annual budget.
On August 1st, Minneapolis became the 16th city in the US to adopt an open data policy. Now, the city has 120 days to create a portal from which the public can download available city records. Although there is no word yet on what data will be made available, Minneapolis has been looking to Chicago and New York City as touchstones in the local open data movement and will perhaps take its cues from those robust data publishers.
Residential and development permits are some of the first datasets released on Fort Worth’s recently launched open data site. The city is focused on getting the most requested data online first, said its content strategy coordinator. So, the next releases of data will include crime, code violations, and information on capital projects, all of which are due to be opened by October.
Earlier this month, San Diego’s City Council adopted its own open data policy. As the first step in enacting the new legislation, the city is now searching for a chief data officer. The clock is ticking as the policy goes into effect by October 1st, so get your resume in now.