Civic News
Data / Municipal government

The City is surveying residents about what they find important about open data

The goal is to help Philly's Office of Innovation and Technology "continue prioritizing open data and making it as meaningful as possible for city residents," CIO Mark Wheeler said.

Philadelphia City Hall. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Innovation and Technology (OIT) just released a public survey in order to learn more about what Philadelphia residents find useful and valuable about the City’s open data sets.

The City hosts 250 datasets on, a portal developed by geospacial software company Azavea. Now, OIT wants to know: What’s successful, difficult or lacking when it comes to data sharing in Philly?

“We have always recognized the importance of geographic information systems (GIS) and data sharing — both are necessary for informing key decisions,” CIO Mark Wheeler said in a statement. “As we continue to grow our open data practices, we want to consider the needs of our users.”

( reviewed OpenDataPhilly’s evolution in our 2019 This Month in History series.)

Various City departments collaborate with OIT to release public data sets, and residents can find information on things like land use, building footprints or election results.

“The goal of this survey is to help us continue prioritizing open data and making it as meaningful as possible for city residents,” Wheeler said.

OIT said it will use the results of the 2020 PHL Open Data Survey, which is open through March 6, to identify datasets that haven’t been released and to track the impact open data has on the city. The department’s data team will track the effectiveness of data sharing, shoutout projects that have been based on open data sets and improve the experience of accessing and using open data.

“We’re looking forward to hearing the creative and important ways residents put our data to use to help Philadelphia flourish,” Open Data Program Manager Kistine Carolan said. ‘We’re also eager to hear new ideas about how we might refine our services so that we can continue to expand our open data work in the best ways possible.”

Folks interested in sharing their thoughts can do so through March 6.

Companies: City of Philadelphia / Office of Innovation and Technology

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