OpenDataVote just launched. Here's why nonprofits should pay attention - Generocity Philly


Mar. 6, 2017 12:55 pm

OpenDataVote just launched. Here’s why nonprofits should pay attention

Consider it an invitation to learn how the city's data sets can work for you. Also, cash prizes.

Robert Cheetham talks about the history of Open Data Philly.

(Screenshot via YouTube)

Generocity is a partner of OpenDataVote.
On Friday, mapping firm Azavea — in partnership with Generocity, Philly, Code for Philly, Tech Impact and the City of Philadelphia — launched OpenDataVote, a civic initiative aimed at getting more Philadelphians familiar with the city’s available open data sets.

It’s based off of 2011’s OpenDataRace, and the idea is pretty simple: Nonprofits nominate existing data sets that aren’t publicly available but would be useful for their organizations to have. 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.

The end goal? Take it national — and present Philly as a leader in the “open data ecosystem.”

“We believe that communities of knowledge, culture, and innovation rely on the ability to share and remix the work of others, and innovation in our cities increasingly relies on access to good data,” said Azavea founder and CEO Robert Cheetham. “With initiatives like OpenDataPhilly and OpenDataVote, we want to encourage the nonprofit and technologies communities in Philadelphia to transform rows of text, numbers and shapes into applications and visualizations that inform the public and help improve our region’s wellbeing, inspire action and contribute to a more dynamic community.”

According to Dan Ford, Azavea’s community ambassador, the first go around in 2011 prompted real change: After OpenDataRace, the city released “a number of the data sets that were nominated by nonprofit organizations.”

Oh, and did we mention there’s money?

The nonprofits that nominate the three most-voted-for data sets stand to win $2,000, $1,000 or $500 in unrestricted funds.

From our Partners

Nominate a data set

Nominations are open from now until noon on March 31. Public voting will be open from April 10 through May 4. Winners will be announced May 5.

There’s not currently a list of the data sets that exist but aren’t public, but Ford said he’s making one and will also work with nonprofits to determine which might benefit them. A list of those currently available can be found on OpenDataPhilly’s website — for instance, Indego trip data and city employee’s salaries. (Fun fact: Mayor Jim Kenney is only the fourth-highest paid official.)

Follow along at @opendatavote on both Facebook and Twitter.


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