Open Data 2

Providing Open Data

Many governments around the western world have begun to embrace the idea of “Open Data,” which is defined by the Open Definition as “data that can be freely used, modified, and shared by anyone for any purpose.”

Open data keeps government agencies accountable and ensures that they are working ethically. It allows citizens to have greater trust in their government. However, just because data is freely available, does not mean it is easily accessible or understandable. Many governments have simply elected to publish an online database of raw information that citizens can search through to try and find what they need. However, this can be inconvenient and tedious to peruse, and difficult to understand without context.

It is a much more efficient and effective solution to provide citizens with tools and to use visual aids such as graphs and maps to display the data, and to provide context that allows citizens to fully understand the data.

Two great examples of jurisdictions that are doing these things and providing users with tools for managing Open Data are:

  • Open Data Douglas County features a wide range of maps, graphs, and other visualizations that make it easy for citizens to understand the scope of the government’s work, as well as to find the specific information that they’re looking for.
  • Open Calgary is a similar system that features tons of facts and statistics in its Citizen Dashboard, which is based around displaying how the city is improving the overall quality of life through measurable goals.

Both of these systems provide citizens with a wide variety of data visualization tools, several of which are fed by POSSE data.

Are you looking to better provide Open Data to your citizens? Computronix has developed an ODATA feed that leverages the data stored in the POSSE Reporting Warehouse (Corral) and exposes it for consumption by a variety of ODATA compliant readers. We are also hosting a webinar on June 22nd, where we will discuss Open Data and our ODATA feed capabilities – watch for an email later this week!

As well, you can learn more about how POSSE can make it easier for you to share open data with your citizens by contacting your Account Manager today!