Supporting government transparency in Colorado
City of Arvada publishes a data catalog
The timing of the recent Open Government Directive by the Obama administration and the launch of Arvada’s OpenData Initiative was not purely coincidental or serendipitous, but it almost seems that way.
Arvada had been working on the catalog for a few months when President Obama instructed the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue an Open Government Directive directing federal agencies to publish more information online, improve the quality of information online, and to develop a culture for more open and transparent government. That part was coincidental.
The part that wasn’t coincidental for Arvada was the need to improve the quality of their website information and make more information and data available to citizens already asking for it. They looked to some of the larger and more progressive cities around the country for inspiration – San Francisco, Washington D.C., and New Your City.
The catalog currently has 39 datasets published with many more on the way. The first step was to aggregate all the existing datasets (on various city websites) into the catalog to make them easier to find. Then Arvada started looking for other “low hanging fruit” they could easily make available. The next steps currently underway involve: meeting with departments/divisions to find what other datasets they could publish easily, asking the public for their input on high value datasets they wanted to see, and trying to figure out how to extract data from other more complicated systems within the city.
So, we’re sure Arvada is not the only one. Do you have any (Colorado related) Open Data or Gov 2.0 initiatives you are currently developing, planning, or already published? Let’s hear about them! Reply in the comments below or create a new blog post.