Each year, SXSW comes to town with it's typical storm of tourist, celebs, traffic, mayhem, and debauchery. At least that has always been my impression from the outside looking in. This year I had my first official week long taste at what the dealio was and attended several sessions with an open (data) mind. From President Obama’s keynote expressing Government’s role in technology and innovation/as innovators,
to the inherent complications of Open Data and privacy, and an occurring trend towards VR (yes, other Cities are diving into the Virtual Reality experience, some as part of the planning and decision making process!), there was a lot to take in. And I was overwhelmed, conflicted, biased, unbiased, concerned, motivated, inspired. . .poof! My head just exploded!
But back to what I took from this experience and how it relates to the COAs efforts with the Open Data initiative. We are not alone. The fact that many sessions I attended highlighted similar goals, successes, and challenges we are all experiencing with our recent push for Open Data (community interaction and involvement, the incubation of new technology, ethical/moral dilemma of public data, pushing the innovative envelope, the fear of change)
only strengthened my confidence that we are moving in the right direction and are part of the creative solution that’s helping to pave the way alongside other leading government programs nationwide/globally.
By: Marbenn Cayetano, Open Data Team -- City of Austin