Due to a recent policy passed by the Minneapolis city council, macro-data about city processes and day-to-day operations will become available online. MinnPost’s Bill Lindeke best characterizes open data as “a movement that combines government transparency, bottom-up crowdsourcing, and high-tech geekery into an unpredictable stew of numbers.”
Open data will be collected from a large variety of city departments and services and has the potential to transform Minneapolis for the better, long-term.
Crowdsourcing the data, which means relying on thousands (perhaps millions) of innocuous data bits to show trends and make solutions to problems evident, is the best possible way to find improvements in the living beast that is the Twin Cities metro area.
For example, Lindeke gives the brilliant example of requiring taxis and lift car services to log their anonymous GPS data in order to track traffic patterns, speeds and density in the city. This idea could be extremely useful in understanding the evolution of transit in the Twin Cities based in real, hard data, and that’s just one possibility for the strengths of open data.
Bill Bushey, a founder of Open Twin Cities cities in Lindeke’s article that open data “actually enables the city to function more efficiently,” and it could. By understanding the great potential that open data has in bettering innumerable situations, Minneapolis has made an enormous step forward in embracing living technology.
Organizations passionate about issues including health equity, transit development, clean energy and economic trends in particular neighborhoods will find that open data policies are invaluable in moving forward.
Many in the policy world are “nerding” out about the potential data windfall coming our way, and you should be too.
Join us Tuesday morning from 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. for a live online discussion on open data with Minneapolis Council Member Andrew Johnson who championed this new policy.