Open Data

December 9, 2010, 12pm PST
Federal government entities are supposed to be "opening" their data, publishing it online for any and all to see. While the goal is good, the reality of meeting the requirement is creating problems.
Next American City
November 11, 2010, 10am PST
A new law requiring city agencies and departments to make "reasonable efforts" to publish their data received unanimous support from the Board of Supervisors.
Fast Company
September 9, 2010, 1pm PDT
In Detroit and New Orleans, open data proponents are pushing local government to share public data in ways that help citizens in these struggling cities to improve their communities.
Next American City
August 18, 2010, 8am PDT
<em>Streetfilms</em> offers this video about how opening up transit agency data can greatly improve urban public transit systems for riders at little or no cost to the agencies.
June 25, 2010, 7am PDT
New York City is moving forward with a plan to create a singular clearinghouse of public agency information -- an effort to help improve the way city departments work together.
Urban Omnibus
June 14, 2010, 12pm PDT
Public data can be more than information for cities. Some have even used it to help generate revenue.
Next American City
May 22, 2010, 1pm PDT
<em>Next American City</em>'s Christian Madera reports on a series of seminars looking at how the growing open data movement is helping to offer cities solutions to some of their operational problems.
Next American City
March 30, 2010, 8am PDT
In an effort to improve accountability, more government agencies are freeing data about public expenditures.
Next American City
March 12, 2010, 8am PST
The City of San Francisco has for years had a "Sunshine" ordinance, requiring that public agencies make their documents and proceedings available to the public. But recent reviews show that sunshine has been hard to find in the city of fog.
San Francisco Bay Guardian
March 12, 2010, 5am PST
The city of Miami is putting its 311 phone system and the civic problems it's used to report online, enabling residents and city officials to easily track local problems.
Government Technology
February 24, 2010, 11am PST
<em>Next American City</em> columnist Christian Madera looks at new efforts to get local government to make municipal data available and accessible, and some of the ways reluctant cities can be convinced to open up.
Next American City
February 12, 2010, 11am PST
Keeping government open and accountable has led to some problems for cities, according to John D. Donahue.
December 10, 2009, 10am PST
A new site from the people behind WalkScore shows you where to track your commute, and singles out the transit agencies who are failing to let you.
December 8, 2009, 10am PST
A growing number of cities are opening up public data streams to computer developers. Some say the move will improve civic discourse, but the nascent trend is still developing.
The New York Times
Blog post
October 19, 2009, 5pm PDT

City data catalogs are fast moving from the exception to the norm for large U.S. cities.

Washington, DC's Data Catalog, spearheaded by former CTO Vivek Kundra, was an early leader. The site combines hundreds of static government-created datasets from across DC government with administrative feeds like the city's 311 system. Their site emphasizes providing data in multiple formats, including where possible formats that don't require proprietary software. Kundra's selection as the nation's first Chief Information Officer, and launch of the federal government's has elevated the principle among the federal government's vast datasets. DC's two "apps" contests sought to encourage creative uses of the data made available, and some of which are available at the DC App Store.

Beyond DC, many big cities have recently launched or are planning open data catalogs of their own.

Robert Goodspeed
October 15, 2009, 10am PDT
New communication and interaction technologies are dramatically changing the way the public understands and participates in government. The emerging openness of data and information at the city level is broadening the urban policy conversation, but challenges and questions lie ahead as the open city develops.
Nate Berg