Communities in US declare February 23 as Open Data Day

Using open data for regional collaboration

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I have a regional, collaborative philosophy of open data initiatives and municipalities. In North Carolina, the cities of Cary, Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill all share the economic engine that is the Research Triangle Park. They also share the innovation engine of five, top universities.

The Triangle just got its next open data participant: the Town of Cary.

I lived in Cary, North Carolina for over a decade and now live next door in the town of Morrisville. I work for the City of Raleigh on their open data initiative.

Will Cary seek to be an interoperable player in a federated regional model? How can the region work together to break down political boundaries for a better economy and improved civic engagement?

At this time, it is hard to tell. The local Code for America brigade in Cary sees local transparency as the primary goal of the Cary open data initiative. The Town of Cary has been quiet in discussing any long range strategy or vision for open data from a government perspective.

Here is the resolution as passed:

A RESOLUTION SUPPORTING THE CARY OPEN DATA DAY HACKATHON

ON FEBRUARY 23, 2013

WHEREAS, the Town of Cary is committed to open government and using technology to foster open, transparent and accessible government by making public data accessible and fostering and encouraging civic engagement.

WHEREAS, "Open Data" refers to data generated by public sector entities that is legally accessible and available electronically to the public for their use.

WHEREAS, the Technology Task Force, a group of nine citizen thought leaders in the technology area, recommended the adoption of an Open Data and Public API policy as critical to support the Cary community as a Technology Hub.

WHEREAS, municipalities across the United States have an opportunity to dramatically lower their costs by collectively sharing and supporting software they use and create.

WHEREAS, by sharing Open Data, the Town of Cary seeks to develop opportunities for economic development, commerce, increased investment and civic engagement.

WHEREAS, the adoption of open source standards, which provides an interface between the data and the user, improves transparency, access to public information, and coordination and efficiencies among organizations across the public, non-profit and private sectors. Additionally, open source standards harness the power of distributed peer review and transparency to create high quality, secure and easily integrated software at an accelerated pace and a lower cost.

WHEREAS, the Town of Cary encourages the local software community to develop software applications and tools to collect, organize and share public data in new and innovative ways that benefit citizens and government.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE TOWN COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF CARY:

The Town of Cary joins other communities throughout the United States and declares Saturday, February 23rd, 2013, as Open Data Day. At this event, the Town proudly supports a community Hackathon by providing an open data website through a single web portal at http://data.caryNC.gov, which will be available prior to Cary’s Open Data Day Hackathon. This web portal will serve as an open data catalog for the Town’s available data sets.

RESOLVED this 13th day of February, 2013.

Note: Code Across America is multi-day event happening alongside Open Data Day; any municipality or community can join.

Republished from, Open Data as a Regional Collaboration, (c) 2013 Jason M Hare. Now published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0. Unported license with author permission.

About the author

Jason Hare
Jason Hare - Two decades experience analyzing user behavior interacting with web applications. Experience includes developing user interfaces using rapid prototyping and an iterative project management style to create award winning, user-centered information portals. Primary interests include Big Data and Open Data applications and community engagement in a public sector environment.