#DataNews: The Value of Data Inventories, Tracking Pollution Through IoT, & More

April 27, 2017 12:00 pm PST | Data as a Service

In open data news this week, Kansas City’s Chief Data Officer Eric Roche shares how a data inventory led to the city developing a stronger open data program. On a federal level, Thomas Beach, Chief Data Strategist for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Digital Service, offers a similar perspective, recommending that data managers “know the personality of data and what it means.” Plus, the Internet of Things is helping cities track pollution, and the Wall Street Journal explores “the ways the information revolution is changing the way cities are run — and the lives of its residents.” Read on for this week’s open data news.

How Kansas City, Mo.’s Data Inventory Led to Better Open Data

“Kansas City, Missouri’s comprehensive data inventory shows the importance of clear internal structures and processes to a successful, sustainable open data program. When Chief Data Officer Eric Roche realized how much time he was spending updating out-of-date, non-automated open data in the city’s portal, he embarked on a project to understand and inventory the data in all departments to develop a more systematic approach to open data publishing in the city.” Read more from Government Technology.

How Cities Are Using the Internet of Things to Map Air Quality

“In response to a growing concern about the effects of air pollution, many cities have improved their efforts to measure pollution using the Internet of Things (IoT)—networks of connected sensors that gather and send data. Using this data, cities can map areas of high pollution, track changes over time, identify polluters, and analyze potential interventions.” Read more from Data-Smart City Solutions.

Government Is One Step Closer to a One-Stop Shop for FOIA Requesters

“Digital services group 18F is is going to help develop the government’s centralized portal for Freedom of Information Act requests, according to the Department of Justice’s Office of Information Policy, who will collaborate with them on the project.” Read more from FedScoop.

The Rise of the Smart City

“In just the past few years, mayors and other officials in cities across the country have begun to draw on the reams of data at their disposal—about income, burglaries, traffic, fires, illnesses, parking citations and more—to tackle many of the problems of urban life. Whether it’s making it easier for residents to find parking places, or guiding health inspectors to high-risk restaurants or giving smoke alarms to the households that are most likely to suffer fatal fires, big-data technologies are beginning to transform the way cities work.” Read more from the Wall Street Journal.

Cincinnati Retrospective on Data-Driven Efforts Shares Methodologies, Successes

“Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black will tell you in no uncertain terms that his mission to make city government run smarter has been working. Shortly after taking the reins as the city’s chief administrator in September 2014, Black, with the backing of the mayor and council, began to build a data analytics and performance monitoring framework into the fabric of daily operations. Now, some three years on in this process, he has released a retrospective paper on the methodologies behind the efforts and just what they have meant to Cincinnati government.” Read more from Government Technology.

Bethlehem Considers Open Data Dump to Lure Civic Hackers

“Last month, Bethlehem City Council passed a resolution, calling for a group to plan an open data program. ‘We have internal data that is helpful to people in the community in ways that we don’t know,’ Bethlehem City Council President J. William Reynolds said. He pushed for the initiative, believing a community flush with scholars and entrepreneurs might be able to address social issues or save the city money. Read more from The Morning Call.

Know Your Data’s Personality in Order to Manage It, Experts Say

“Federal data managers need to know the personality of their data sets in order to control them, according to Thomas Beach, chief data strategist and portfolio manager of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Digital Service and Big Data department.” Read more from MeriTalk.

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