What are your opinions about the draft "Open Data" policy? What could you do with this information?
“Beyond Transparency” Salt Lake City’s Policy on Open Data
In 2009 Salt Lake City began its Open Government Initiative, this initiative established “Salt Lake City’s Policy on Open Government”, which laid the foundation for changing the culture of engagement with the Salt Lake Community. Now it is time to build upon this policy and go beyond transparency by opening up our data. Check out the draft policy by clicking here.
The following video from the Sunlight Foundation highlights why the community is interested in open data.
In December 2012 Salt Lake City rolled out its open data portal. The open data portal, data.slcgov.com, has more than 30 data sets containing everything from financial transactions to employee salaries and business licenses to building permits. The site is free and open to the public and contains analytical tools to create maps, charts and graphs, as well as sort and filter the data.
A key part of open government is the ability for members of the public to see the transactional information created as part of the City’s business processes. Bill Haight, Chief Information Officer for the City, states “The portal has 3 goals, better visibility of the business transactions of the City, a reduction in records requests as the public will have direct access to information, and the empowerment of citizen software developers to use the City’s data in ways we haven’t thought of to provide information or services to the public.”
The City’s IT department, Information Management Services, is meeting with departments to determine what data sets it will publish. Before publishing a data set, a review/balance test is done to make sure no personal or confidential information is disclosed and that public safety is not affected.
Additionally, the City has partnered with Utah Community Data Project. The Utah Community Data Project is just beginning to build an information system and research program that will enable us to uncover insights into our changing communities and to provide topical analysis on underlying trends. We are in the midst of a great demographic, economic, and cultural transformation, and this increasing complexity and diversity varies dramatically by neighborhood and community. The greater need for understanding trends at small-area geographies is coupled with an irreversible dearth of detailed neighborhood-level data from national sources due to the loss of the U.S.. Census long form. While many states and communities throughout the nation have programs similar to what we are building, no such system currently exists in Utah. UCDP will fill this void. (Credit, UCDP about page)
The term “beyond transparency” comes from the new book “Beyond Transparency.” Beyond Transparency, is a cross-disciplinary survey of the open data landscape, in which practitioners share their own stories of what they’ve accomplished with open civic data. It seeks to move beyond the rhetoric of transparency for transparency’s sake and towards action and problem solving. Through these stories, we examine what is needed to build an ecosystem in which open data can become the raw materials to drive more effective decision-making and efficient service delivery, spur economic activity, and empower citizens to take an active role in improving their own communities. (Credit, http://beyondtransparency.org/ home page)
A third opportunity for data collaboration is through the Open Salt Lake Code for America Brigade open data portal http://www.civicdata.com/group/open-salt-lake. On this site any member of the community can post data sets of their own or find data sets posted on other sites and create links. To find out more about the Open Salt Lake Brigade go to http://opensaltlake.org/. To find out more about Code for America go to http://www.codeforamerica.org/.
What kind of civic innovator are you?
A new report by the IBM Center for The Business of Government titled, Engaging Citizens in Co-Creation in Public Services, defines four key roles members of the community can play in conjunction with their government.
As explorers,citizens can identify/discover and define emerging and existing problems.
As ideators, citizens can conceptualize novel solutions to well-defined problems.
As designers, citizens can design and/or develop implementable solutions to well-defined problems.
As diffusers, citizens can directly support or facilitate the adoption and diffusion of public service innovations and solutions among well-defined target populations.
Than you for your participation and assistance in helping us develop this policy. This policy may be adopted by the Administration following public comments and revisions to the policy.
For questions about this proposed policy contact Nole Walkingshaw at 801-535-7128 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments may also be mailed to:
Salt Lake City Community and Economic Development
c/o Nole Walkingshaw
451 S State St, Room 406
PO Box 145480
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-5480