(Photo courtesy of State of Maryland)
Back in 2013, Maryland rolled out a statewide open data portal to great fanfare. Now the Free State’s spot for making government stats available to the public got some updates.
The Maryland Department of Information Technology, home to one of our all-time favorite bureaucratic acronyms of DoIT, said a redesign of the portal that houses 1,300 publicly available datasets launched Thursday, March 28.
“Interest in open data has expanded throughout the world and with over 8,500 unique users accessing Maryland’s Open Data Portal per month, our state is no different,” Michael G. Leahy, secretary of the Maryland Department of Information Technology, said in a statement. “Demand for greater transparency, accessibility, and ease of use continues to grow and the citizens of Maryland expect data to be available to them as fast as they request it.”
One big change is new URL. Going forward, find open data at opendata.maryland.gov.
With an eye toward user experience, the redesign included streamlining and reorganizing category titles to help users find specific areas such as “Demographics” or “Agriculture.” For those seeking local data specific Baltimore City, there’s also a tab to navigate to specific municipalities.
It also includes “story features” combining narrative content and data visualizations to show the data behind specific initiatives.
Also last week, the state said it is launching a new data sharing tool that offers “self-service” capabilities for state agencies and will help increase efficiency. The Socrata Connected Government Cloud is designed to provide a single point for each of the state’s 129 individual agencies to store, visualize and publish data.
The state has worked with Socrata, which is run by Plano, Texas-based Tyler Technologies, since it launched its open data portal and passed the state’s open data policy.-30-
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