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(Over)Simplifying Buenos Aires

(Over)Simplifying Bu...

This is a very rough sketch of the city of Buenos Aires: As the sketch shows, it’s a big blob of homes (VIVIENDAs), with an office-ridden downtown to the East (OFICINAS) and a handful of satellite areas. The sketch, of course, lies. Here’s a map that’s slightly less of a lie: Both maps are based […]

Open Data Reveals $791 Million Error in Newly Adopted NYC Budget

Open Data Reveals $7...

Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of #ODSC The headline in a recent NYC press release caught my eye: “MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL LAUNCH SEARCHABLE OPEN BUDGET FOR NEW YORK CITY”.  I was pretty excited.  As mentioned in my talk on Ted, NYC has entombed this data in PDFs for years, making it […]

The Pressure Cooker: Population Density and Crime

The Pressure Cooker:...

Do Higher Population Densities Increase Crime? Crime, particularly violent crime, is always prevalent in the public consciousness. At the same time, the UN reported in 2014 that population densities and the prevalence of urban areas continue to increase, with more than half the world’s population living in urban areas for the first time in history. The […]

The Changing Role of Government CDOs

The Changing Role of...

The title of “Chief Data Officer” – once an uncommon one in state and municipal governments – is becoming less uncommon. And that’s a very good thing for public sector innovation. As recently as a few years ago, Chief Data Officers were found almost exclusively in big city governments like Chicago, New York and Philadelphia. […]

The NYPD May Have Been Systematically Ticketing Legally Parked Cars

The NYPD May Have Be...

Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of #ODSC Millions of Dollars a Year, and Open Data just put an end to it New York City is a complex place to drive.  And when it comes to parking, there are plenty of rules and regulations to follow.  It’s no wonder that sometimes […]

Philly’s New Mayor is Serious About Open Data

Philly’s New Mayor...

The big news recently in Philadelphia open data circles is the release of city employee salary information. For the first time ever, the City of Philadelphia will make public – in easily usable formats – salary information on every city employee, including elected officials. This data is now available for anyone to download freely from […]

Blood, Sweat & Civic Hacking

Blood, Sweat & ...

The recent article “Open Data and Civic Apps: First-Generation Failures, Second Generation Improvements” by Melissa Lee, Esteve Almirall and Jonathan Wareham looks at early efforts to build civic applications through government-sponsored app challenges. The article evaluates the outcomes of some of the early government app challenges like the District of Columbia’s Apps for Democracy Contest […]

7 Sins in NYC

7 Sins in NYC...

When Vito Corleone, the head of the Corleone crime family in the movie “The Godfather”, was shot on the street of New York by hitmen, I was shocked. I was shocked not just because I was so immersed in the movie, but also due to one sentence echoing in my mind: “no one is an island”. […]

Open Data as Consumer Protection

Open Data as Consume...

Open data has a number of uses: transparency, economic development, galvanizing technology, and also consumer protection. A recent experience crystalized this fact. Super Bowl 49 was a messy day in Chicago. By the time the game ended, 16″ of snow had accumulated on the ground, and would still fall throughout the night. A hard, gusty […]