Civic Awesome: Open Data In The News For The Week Of February 27, 2015
Whoa, Nelly! There is a wagonload of open data news this week. A lot of that load is owing to last weekend. So let’s start by taking a look at some of the events marking International Open Data Day.
The government of the United Kingdom celebrated Open Data Day with its first Open Data Camp, which brought together hundreds of local and national government staffers with people from private businesses and nonprofits to discuss open data. In addition, the government also released its latest set of open data, including an all-inclusive listing of the UK’s 10,000+ social enterprises.
Moving westward, Canada recognized Open Data Day with a nationwide hackathon called Canadian Open Data Experience (CODE.) This mammoth event was held in locations from Toronto to Vancouver over two days and involved 340 teams with 1,303 attendees and an additional 1,050 virtual participants. These participants “focused on creating applications that use open data from the federal government as well as from other levels of government to tackle social challenges and improve service delivery.” CODE is offering $40,000 in prizes, which will be awarded March 26.
Not only governments support Open Data Day. In New Zealand, the New Zealand Herald hosted an event to bring understanding about the open data movement. The day included talks about the New Zealand census, tools for using open data, and how to request information via the county’s Official Information Act.
On February 20th, “the government of Mexico…mandated that open data is the default for all public communication the it produces.” At the Open Data Leaders Network event hosted by ODI in London, Enrique Zapata, the Director of Open Data Policy for the National Digital Strategy of Mexico made the announcement saying he was hopeful the change will have an economic impact on Mexico, but warned it requires culture change in government which “can be difficult.”
An organization which track the progress of Chief Data Officers says there were about 250 CDOs in business and U.S. government offices at the end of 2014, which is meteoric expansion considering the position was briefly unheard of just a few years ago. The U.S. federal government, in particular, is hiring numerous CDOs to “consistently manage data throughout” agencies, such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Department of Transportation, and pending hires at both the departments of Commerce and Energy.
Glasgow launched an open data portal this week, which is already loaded up with nearly 400 datasets. The effort is part of a larger push to develop Glasgow as a smart city, including intelligent street lights and traffic sensors. The City Council has said it will make “all its non-sensitive and non-personal information freely and openly available.”
Yelp and open data are helping keep your favorite restaurants clean. The online review platform sent letters to randomly selected U.S. restaurants which included their latest inspection score, as found through city open data. Following up on those letters, Yelp determined that “restaurants who were informed that their scores was posted on the restaurant review site tended to have higher scores at the next inspection time.”