OpenDataPhilly will get $35K, Knight Foundation-funded upgrade - Technical.ly Philly

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Apr. 29, 2014 7:30 am

OpenDataPhilly will get $35K, Knight Foundation-funded upgrade

According to interim director of AxisPhilly Tom Ferrick, the upgrades will include instructional materials (webinars, how-to videos, etc.) to show the public how to use OpenDataPhilly, technical upgrades, including a redesign and outreach to the civic hacking community to encourage it to use OpenDataPhilly.

Members of the 311 Glass Reporting team building their app at LadyHacks, a hackathon where many use open data. Photo by Corinne Warnshuis.

OpenDataPhilly is getting an upgrade.

The Knight Foundation granted the city’s public open data portal $35,000 as part of its Knight Prototype Fund, Knight announced last week. The grant shows that, despite the management turmoil at OpenDataPhilly steward AxisPhilly, Axis is still paying attention to the portal. According to interim director of AxisPhilly Tom Ferrick, the upgrades will include:

  • instructional materials (webinars, how-to videos, etc.) to show the public how to use OpenDataPhilly
  • technical upgrades, including a redesign
  • outreach to the civic hacking community to encourage it to use OpenDataPhilly

The hope, Ferrick said, is that more cities will use OpenDataPhilly as a template for their data portals. AxisPhilly has fielded questions from as far as Madagascar about adopting the portal, he said.

The project will be run by civic hacker Casey Thomas, who used to work at AxisPhilly, and overseen by OpenDataPhilly’s five-person board, which includes:

  • former Chief Data Officer and now Accela tech evangelist Mark Headd
  • Tom Ferrick, interim director of nonprofit news outfit AxisPhilly, which has been overseeing OpenDataPhilly since the summer of 2012
  • Philadelphia Inquirer data journalist Dylan Purcell
  • Temple University professor Youngjin Yoo
  • Robert Cheetham, CEO of Azavea, the GIS firm that built OpenDataPhily
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