Civic Awesome: Open Data In The News For November 7, 2014

November 7, 2014 5:18 am PST | Data as a Service

Yee haw! Saddle up, partner. It’s time for Socrata’s weekly roundup of open data stories leading the herd. Let’s ride…

EU Commits €14.4m To Support Open Data Across Europe

On Tuesday, the European Union (EU) announced a €14.4 million ($17.85m) commitment towards projects lead several open data institutions. The funding represents the “largest direct investment into open data startups globally and will be used to fund there separate schemes covering startups, open data research and a new training academy for data science.” €2.9m will go to establishing a new European Data Science Academy; €3.7 to fund open data research projects in the UK, Germany, France, and Greece; and the remaining €7.8m will fund 30 months of the Open Data Incubator for Europe (ODInE.)

An Outdoorsy Plea For Federal Campsite Data

A request for proposal the Forest Service has drafted is drawing some fire, particularly from Hipcamp founder, Alyssa Ravasio. She says that, as currently written, the solicitation allows the contractor to determine the feasibility of building an API for the site, as opposed to making the API part of the site’s requirements. Ravasio and other advocates are calling on the Forest Service to revise its wording to ensure the agency’s data are kept publicly accessible and out of the “hands of a single contractor and single website.” For its part, the Forest Service has agreed to hear more about demands to change the solicitation and has already adjusted its deadlines to do so.

How Public Opinion Is Shaping Open Data In Washington, DC

The District of Columbia wants to improve its release of open data. To help ensure it is doing so to its constituents’ standards, DC has named a 15-member advisory board, which will “play a key role in fostering public participation in the open government process and ensuring more data sets are released while protecting those that have sharing restrictions.” Already the group has moved the District from the restrictive terms of use its open data initially offered, to a Creative Commons license. It remains to be seen how DC’s new mayor will embrace open data and the advisory board.

City of Santa Monica Launches Open Data Initiative

The City of Santa Monica, California has launched an open data portal, at, with initial data sets focused on finance; permits and licenses; public assets, services, and safety; and transportation. Further data sets will be released soon include car fleet data, a street sign inventory, and bike and pedestrian counts. The city also has a separate financial transparency site at

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