Open Data Field Guide

A comprehensive guide to ensuring your open data program serves you and your citizens.

With Insight From: City of Chicago, City of New York, City of Edmonton, State of Maryland, State of Colorado, Code for America, The World Bank, City of Baltimore, State of Oregon, and and more.


Who Should Read This Guide, and Why

Open data has forever transformed how governments deliver information to citizens. See how it can help your organization or government.

Why Does My Organization Need Open Data?

Get a brief history of the open data movement. Learn why open data is important now, and how it will impact our lives in the 21st century.

Define Clear and Measurable Goals

Increase your chances of success by defining clear and measurable goals for your open data initiative.

Assemble a Winning Team

Learn how to explain the benefits of your open data initiative to colleagues and win their support.

Develop Your Open Data Policy

Learn the basic structure of an open data policy and how it can help move your initiative forward.

The Data Plan

Which data do you release and when? Get tips and read about successful approaches from leaders in the field.

Open Data Implementation in Six Steps

Simplify your implementation efforts by focusing on phases. Read examples of others’ success.

Engage Your Community

Find out the best practices to promote your open data initiative and get developers involved.

An Outstanding Citizen Experience

Make the data easy to visualize, and put it directly into citizens’ hands. Follow these tips on data curation.

Join the Open Data Community

Connect with the passionate open data community online. See recommendations for who to follow and great sources of news and information.

Acknowledgements & Glossary

Meet the thought leaders who contributed to the Guide and read our glossary of terms.