Open government data is data that is produced from government agencies. It can be freely used by the public. The availability of open data provides many economic and civic benefits to individuals, groups and organizations.
What Other Cities Are Doing
Cities face many challenges and open data allows citizens to work with government agencies to address these problems. Maury Blackman writes on govtech.com that there are many cities and states leading the way in open data, such as New York, San Francisco, and even smaller cities like Asheville, N.C., where citizens used open data to address hunger issues in their community.
Some extremely innovative applications have been developed from open government data. In Chicago, Open City is a group of citizens that create apps using open government data. Their projects tackle transit, sewage, zoning, crime and more.
Locally, there’s Open-Austin, a community group focused on open government and civic application development, has been an actively engaged with the City of Austin since 2009. They have contributed by providing valuable input into City Information Technology initiatives, open government policy and engaging community application developers to participate in community events like hackathons.
Need Some Inspiration?
Check out some applications developed using federal datasets. Mashable.com lists 7 apps as “open data apps our city needs.”
Austinites, what applications could you develop with City of Austin open data?