Montgomery, Snohomish, and King Counties Win National Awards
The Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties recently announced the winners of the 2013 Digital Counties Survey. The awards recognize innovation and leadership in open data, and showcase various ways open data and transparency can improve citizens’ lives and streamline internal processes.
Three of the winning counties–Montgomery, King and Snohomish–currently utilize Socrata as their chosen data sharing platform. Here are some of the innovative ways these counties are using data transparency to better the lives of their citizens:
Montgomery County, Maryland (First Place: 500,000 or more population category)
The openMontgomery initiative provides immediate access to vital county information, along with a wide variety of raw data that the public can analyze freely. Providing open data gives the government a tangible way to measure success. For example, one dataset highlights completed 311 service requests by topic. This lets county officials know which information the public is looking for, and in turn, where to focus their resources. The county also manages a platform called engageMontgomery, a tool for the public to participate in government by voicing concerns, discussing issues, and sharing new ideas.
King County, Washington (Fourth Place: 500,000 or more population category)
Citizens of King County, Washington now have access to countless datasets to improve their daily lives. Among the most popular datasets is the Food Establishment Inspection report, which provides detailed health department inspection data for all food service establishments in the county. Additionally, the government’s online presence supports its commitment to the environment by offering information for recycling locations and community shuttle programs.
Snohomish County (Seventh Place: 500,000 or more population category)
In Snohomish County, Washington, the newly launched SnoStat Gateway program supplies raw data as well as finished reports and datasets to the public. The popular outdoor recreation dataset provides citizens with a clear report of all recreational services in the county, including golf courses, county parks, waterfalls and youth activities. The county also encourages engagement by soliciting feedback and innovative data reports from its citizens.