Want a list of basketball courts in Seattle? What about progress report cards for Chicago's public schools? Now you can find this and several other pages of data about Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco, and New York all in one portal: Cities.data.gov. The federal government and the participating cities are hoping that citizens will use the data to build apps and other pieces of technology to help "improve the quality of life in local communities."
Even though the platform already has over 10,000 sets of data, San Francisco's CIO, Jon Walton promises that there is more to come from the City by the Bay. He and other CIOs from Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and Seattle hope that other city leaders will join in and add their data sets to the website.
With the creation of this platform and other sites such as Usaspending.gov, Noelle Knell thinks that the federal government is improving its transparency and is inspiring local governments to share their data as well. She speculates, "The multi-jurisdictional nature of the data on Cities.data.gov site could help further break down compartmentalized public-sector thinking, helping erase distinctions between government entities that are far less relevant to the public."