We’re here to encourage, support, explain, promote, and demonstrate that open data is a thing and it’s a thing we should have and need to have more of in Northeast Ohio. There are a lot of reasons we believe this and there are a lot of ways to get there, and there’s a lot to accomplish before we get there and on the way there, and of course, after we’ve arrived.
We work to backup these beliefs by providing relevant content in the Open Data Newsfeed in the sidebar of this page (lower down on the mobile version), resources throughout the site and in blog posts like this one. So here’s another example of how open data is coming into being in cities and counties around the country, this time in Durham, North Carolina:
Kerry Goode, CIO of the Durham Technology Solutions Department, said that while city and county public data have always been publicly available, open data will make it easier to use by developers, marketers, community enrichment agencies and the general public.
“We’re looking at this as a tool that the entire community can use to foster positive change within the entire area. We’re looking at it more holistically.”
“When it comes to data, our citizens don’t really care whether it’s the city of Durham or the county of Durham. They just want one place to go to find information. We believe that this approach speaks directly to what we’re hearing from the citizens of Durham — they want an easy way to gain access to data and they want transparency.”
There’s a lot more in the article, plus links to more information about the path they’ve followed. But they got on our radar yesterday (the article above came out today) because less than one week ago, Durham hired an Open Data Consultant. An article about the hire includes some history on their overall progression. Two key elements: Durham had a Code for America Brigade called Code for Durham) and Durham County had a CIO who publicly expressed the kind of awareness needed, especially at that level of government, to undergird the likelihood of success.
Cleveland and Cuyahoga County have both: OpenCleveland, our local CfA Brigade, got started a few months ago, and Jeff Mowry, the Cuyahoga County CIO who has been in that role since the county executive form of government started and is being retained in that role, has been supportive of these concepts since the 2011 Transparency Action Plan Summit (TAP Summit). Additionally, more than 225 people attended the November 6, 2014 City Club of Cleveland forum on The Responsive City: Open Data and Future of Northeast Ohio. And that audience included many representatives from all the sectors we would most expect and desire to be involved in the evolution of an open data ecosystem here.
Open data – it is a thing, it is a thing around this country and it is becoming a thing here. We look forward to continuing to provide evidence of that, and hopefully also inspiration, education, and opportunity for engaging with this thing called open data. In the meantime, consider following our increasingly active Twitter @openneo and Facebook page.