Civic News
Data / Ethics / Public safety

Here’s how to get Philadelphia to release 911 call data

The city is once again asking the public for input on what data it should release. This time around, Chief Data Officer Tim Wisniewski is focused on the Fire Department.

What Fire Department data do you want to see released? (Photo by Flickr user @Knight725 via Creative Commons)

The city wants to know what Fire Department data you want to see released. Those data sets include fire incident reports, 911 calls and the department’s budget.
Leave comments on the datasets you want to see by Wednesday, July 22, as the city’s data team will meet with Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer Thursday morning to talk about which datasets to release.
Give feedback
This is the latest department to get the open data treatment. Since Tim Wisniewski became Chief Data Officer, he and his team have been doing data inventories, where they take stock of every dataset a department has, and then present it to the public in hopes of getting feedback. They’ve done eight departments so far, including Licenses and Inspections, and it’s resulted in departments authorizing more than a dozen data releases.
The city has gotten more than 100 comments on the Fire Department data, most of which are from Azavea head Robert Cheetham and journalist Jim MacMillan. It’s a noticeable uptick in the number of comments since Wisniewski started doing these inventories earlier this year.
The strategy is part of Wisniewski’s efforts to engage both departments and the public in the open data process. One of the next hurdles? How to get more people — inside and outside government — using all this data.

Companies: City of Philadelphia

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