Clear Wintry Roads with Open Data

Prince George’s County in Maryland decided to use open data to tackle the negative perceptions of their region and provide solid quantifiable evidence for their initiatives and plans. A salient example of the effects open data can have is the county’s Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative (http://ndc-md.org/highlighted-project...), which reduced violent crime in the county 30 percent since its introduction.

Given the sensitive nature of much of the data, especially data involving personally identifiable information, the county elected to establish a governance board which reviews data to ensure identities are protected. For this reason, two databases are maintained: one accessible to only relevant employees, allowing them to still quantify their positions while protecting the identities of their constituency; the other fully available for public consumption, enabling the opportunity for their constituents to design their own evidence-based conclusions.

With both datasets available to local agencies, Prince George’s County is even able to muster the full potential of multiple departments to tackle difficult issues like snow preparedness and emergency response, increasing effectiveness, reducing downtime for businesses, and improving the quality of life of their constituency.