ODTV Video of the Week: Cutting Transaction Costs in Maryland

July 31, 2015 7:00 am PST | Public Finance

Barney Krucoff, the Geographic Information Officer for the Maryland Department of Information Technology, first learned the value of sharing data in the 1990s, while working on geographic information systems for a federal agency. Back then, recalls Krucoff in this week’s featured ODTV video, “There was no data to work with at all.” Different agencies joined forces — and finances — to pay for what Krucoff describes as “expensive and exotic data.” Sharing this data offered value beyond savings; it meant that all participants had insight into how other agencies used the data.

As part of the Maryland Department of Information Technology, Krucoff is excited to “leverage this national trend…into [releasing] all sorts of datasets that weren’t traditionally published.” Making these datasets widely available without a fee is to residents’ advantage — but it’s also to Maryland’s financial benefit. Krucoff explains, “The first dollar we charge, we get into a lot of bureaucracy. By eliminating that, we save a lot of money [and] we save a lot of time, sharing data amongst ourselves. I think that’s an important part of our philosophy in Maryland: We’re trying to minimize the transaction costs, and free is our best tool in doing that.”

For more on Krucoff’s take on why sharing data is so vital — in terms of both efficiencies and savings — watch the full video.

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Civic Awesome: Open Data in the News for the Week of July 27, 2015

July 31, 2015