#DataNews: Geospatial Data Act, Open Data Challenges in Cambridge and Delaware, and Transit Apps in Canada

June 1, 2017 12:00 pm PST | Data News Roundup

During the recent Summit on Government Performance and Innovation in Phoenix, Daro Mott, Chief of Performance Innovation in Louisville, Kentucky, described data as “part of our lifeblood.” And in other state and local news, Delaware will award grants to the winners of this weekend’s open data challenge, while Cambridge, Massachusetts is pointing civic hackers toward specific, relevant datasets in areas where the city could improve. Plus, a bipartisan bill introduced in Congress calls for increasing transparency around geospatial data. Read on for more open data news.

Civic Innovation Challenge Inventory Pairs Problems with Open Data in Cambridge

“The city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, may have uncovered a new tactic to trigger aid from local tech experts by matching open data to civic issues. The city created a new data set this year called the Civic Innovation Challenge Inventory (CICI), a project that marries the city’s trove of publicly accessible data with specific challenges that Cambridge faces. The short but growing list represents a more organized approach to open data and answers the age-old question city government so frequently hears from its citizens of: ‘How can I help?’” Read more from State Scoop.

Sens. Warner, Hatch Reintroduce the Bipartisan Geospatial Data Act

“U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) reintroduced today the bipartisan Geospatial Data Act (GDA), a bill that will improve coordination, reduce duplication, and increase data transparency in the acquisition of geospatial data.” Read more from the Augusta Free Press.

Winners of This Year’s Open Data Challenge Get Grant Money from the State

“There’s extra incentive to participate in the 2017 Open Data Challenge: $17,500 in grants from the Delaware Department of State. The free hackathon runs from Friday, June 2 to Sunday, June 4 at 1313 Innovation. Gov. John Carney believes it’s well worth the investment. ‘Embracing open data and new technology will help us operate more efficiently and better connect Delawareans with the work of their state government,’ he said. ‘The Open Data Challenge is a great way to help further this effort by coming up with ideas to improve the way the state does business.’” Read more from Technically Delaware.

Optimizing Government Performance: Tips from the Trenches

“‘Data is more than just a utility, it’s something that’s a part of our lifeblood,’ said Daro Mott, chief of performance improvement in the Louisville, Ky., Mayor’s Office. Like-minded data practitioners gathered at a session titled ‘Planning Next Generation Cities’ to talk about the next frontier in the government transparency journey. In Palo Alto, Calif., Development Services Director Peter Pirnejad touted the Silicon Valley city’s success with increased visibility into its data on permitting and licensing. Residents seeking a permit for rooftop solar panels used to be faced with a 120-day delay. Streamlined processes enabled by data dashboards trimmed that turnaround time to one day — even same day in some cases, Pirnejad said. Panelists agreed that every data effort needs an up-front focus on improving service or solving a problem for residents. ‘I don’t lead with data even though I have the most data,’ said Mott. ‘I lead with the question I want to answer.’” Read more from Government Technology.

Open Data Is Helping Create Apps That Canadians Actually Find Useful

“When Montrealers Sam Vermette and Guillaume Campagna were looking to build an app that compiled bus routes and transit times, they decided to go straight to the source: The Montreal Transit Corporation (STM). Vermette and Campagna didn’t have to set up meetings with the city’s public transit officials — at least, not initially. Instead, the two developers consulted the City of Montreal’s open data portal and compiled the STM’s publicly accessible data manually. The openly accessible transit data was enough that Vermette and Campagna were able to build and subsequently release Transit App.” Read more from MobileSyrup.


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