Civic News

Now it’s your turn to choose what datasets the city should release

Azavea is on yet another push to make open data sets accessible to nonprofits.

Azavea CEO Robert Cheetham.

(Courtesy photo)

In times like these, of heightened political awareness, we’ve often heard how important down-ticket races are.

But in Azavea’s OpenDataVote project, the candidates you’ll be picking aren’t politicians but open data sets. In partnership with Code For Philly, Tech Impact, the City of Philadelphia (and, full disclosure, Philly and Generocity,) the mapping firm aims to incentivize access to the most relevant open data sets.

“Nonprofits nominate existing data sets that aren’t publicly available but would be useful for their organizations to have,” writes Generocity Editor Julie Zeglen. “The public votes on which they, too, want access to. The three data sets that receive the most votes will be released by the city.”

Right now is the first phase, where nonprofits will nominate datasets. Voting comes later.

Read the full story

The program is essentially a reboot of OpenDataRace, the 2011 Azavea effort — then backed by the William Penn Foundation — that led three nonprofits access to cash and open data sets on bike thefts, vacant land and college attendance records.

This time around, it looks like the project is in a bid for exporting the local model to other towns with similar interests.

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