Could Open Data Help End Hunger?

September 15, 2016 12:00 pm PST | Data News Roundup

The Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition is meeting this week to discuss how open data can end hunger. New York and D.C. are both seeking public feedback on their open data policies and standards, while the Environmental Protection Agency wants to learn from cities excelling at collecting and analyzing air quality data. Read on for these stories and more in this week’s Open Data Download:

Hidden data: the new weapon that could beat hunger

“Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN), a consortium of 340 organizations from international farming research groups to universities and agribusiness giants, will meet in New York on Thursday and Friday to discuss progress on their “open data revolution to zero hunger”. By making public information already being gathered from satellites, fields and villages, GODAN aims to spur innovation – from cheaper crop insurance to farm weather apps – to feed more of the estimated 800 million people who go hungry each day.” Read more from Reuters.

Megan Smith and Alexander Macgillivray tout Obama administration’s tech victories, but ‘it’s a work in progress’

“Eight years is a long time in the tech industry — not so much in politics, though. At Disrupt SF today, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith and Deputy CTO Alexander Macgillivray reflected on the hard road the Obama administration has traveled in tech, the work they’ve done, and things that will take eight more years (at least) to accomplish….’It’s really the beginning of digital government,’ she [Smith] said. ‘People are not only doing open government and FOIA type things. They’re sharing code. They’re moving to this place where the service delivery and the data science and data driven government… we can use these incredible governmental budgets and access points for is really going to be realized.’” Read more from TechCrunch.

EPA opens its Smart City Air Challenge

“The Environmental Protection Agency wants to learn how to better collect, manage and understand air quality information from data-generating sensors. To get that insight, EPA has issued a Smart City Air Challenge, which will award two communities that demonstrate the best air quality data collection and sharing strategies with up to $40,000 each as seed money.” Read more from GCN.

D.C. releases draft data policy with new security safeguards, key open data changes

“Washington, D.C’s IT department is showing off its new data policy, soliciting public input on a document governing both data security and open data efforts in the nation’s capital after the District’s new chief data officer got a chance to put his stamp on the draft.” Read more from StateScoop.

Agencies need authoritative CTOs to drive innovation — report

“Every federal agency should enlist a chief technology officer with the authorities necessary to effect change and spark innovation, a federally focused IT contracting association recommends in a new report. The Professional Services Council released a report Tuesday on the role of federal CTOs called ‘Ensuring the Effectiveness of Federal Chief Technology Officers,’ emphasizing the impact those officials have around government — currently in two-thirds of CFO Act agencies — and how to better harness their untapped potential.” Read more from FedScoop.

National Transit Map Seeks to Close the Transit Data Gap

“With more than 10,000 routes and 98,000 stops represented, the National Transit Map is already enormous. But Dan Morgan, chief data officer of the department, says it’s not enough. When measuring vehicles operated in maximum service — a metric illustrating peak service at a transit agency — the National Transit Map captures only about half of all transit in the U.S….Which is why, in the process of building out the map, the DOT is working with transit agencies to make their data available.” Read more from GovTech.

NYC opens up draft geospatial open data standards for public comment

“As New York City moves to standardize its geospatial data practices and comply with a new open data law, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration is looking for public feedback on the process. The Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics is soliciting comments on draft geospatial open data standards through Thursday, asking for input on the initial guidelines a working group put together to dictate how agencies attach geographical information to data sets they’re posting publicly.” Read more from StateScoop.

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