A new contest launching today solicits votes on what currently obscured city data should be made open.
Dubbed the OpenDataRace by those behind the nascent OpenDataPhilly.org, the project this month solicits nominations of civic-orientated city data sets paired with relevant nonprofit missions. Next month, votes will be cast trumpeting what data sets most interest Philadelphians, with $3,500 in small cash prizes for the nonprofits connected to the three winning entries.
Find the brief nomination form HERE.
1. Nominations (Sept. 12 to Thurs., Sept. 29): Nonprofits nominate data sets
2. Voting (Oct. 3 to Thurs. Oct. 27): General public votes on data sets and the nonprofits that nominated them.
3. Winners (Fri. Oct. 28): The top three* nonprofit/data winners will be announced at the OpenAccess Philly forum.
4. Lobby for release (November to December): Technically Philly will seek the process to release this data.
5. Hack the Data (January to February): Hackathons will be held to use the data to build apps.
*Prizes: First Prize will receive $2,000, Second Prize $1,000 and Third Prize $500
“The primary purpose of the contest is to encourage citizens and advocates to get involved in the process of open government and cultivate government transparency through the release of data,” said Robert Cheetham, the founder of Azavea, which led the development phase and strategy for the contest.
In the end, OpenDataRace organizers will work with the City of Philadelphia to develop the workflow and mechanisms to release the requested data, by whatever format is most attainable. As Technically Philly reported this week on the long-heralded L&I API, even when there is genuine support behind such an initiative, delays at the city level take place.
The question will be, if the OpenDataRace shows clear community support for certain data releases, will the selected city agency and partnering departments have the capacity, interest and top-level encouragement to follow through.
The project is a partnership between the William Penn Foundation, Azavea, which built OpenDataPhilly.org, NPower, the City of Philadelphia and, full disclosure, Technically Philly, which was part of early strategy for OpenDataPhilly.org.
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