Thursday, March 23, 2017

Open data for Lincoln

Today the Mayor is announcing our new Open Data and Performance Management website, The site brings together some extensive data applications and resources that have been available on various City websites, but may have required some deep digging. Now, they are also available in this single portal where they may be more easily accessed.

More importantly, though, the site also provides open data: license-free, machine-readable datasets that may be downloaded in such common formats as csv, kml, shp, and json. A bit over half of the 100+ resources on the site today are available as open data, including both tabular and spatial datasets such as police incident reports, traffic crash records, zoning, city council districts, and much more.

Information about the City's performance management process, with links to the relevant data and documents will also allow visitors to see how we are doing on the City's eight key outcomes, along with their associated goals and performance indicators. We have also included a link to the City's new performance management meetings, LNKstat. The status reports from LNKstat meetings will show you what we are working on and the action steps planned.

Lincoln is joining a select groups of cities in the United States that are making open data available to the public. It's a great way to allow citizens to use these resources in creative and entrepreneurial
ways, and to increase transparency in municipal government.

Our open data site is built on the ESRI ArcGIS open data platform, which several other cities are using, such as Washington DC, Minneapolis, Tampa, and Wichita. It is a work in progress, and I expect it will continue to evolve as we add more data and features in the future.

I've been pleased to lead the City's open data initiative for the first few months, as the convener of our open data governance committee. We got a start last summer, when our City Council unanimously passed an open data resolution introduced by council members Trent Fellers and Leirion Gaylor Baird. The resolution created the governance committee, which has contributed a great deal to this project, and continues to work through five subcommittees.

Last fall, we were selected by What Works Cities to receive technical assistance and support for performance management and open data. Eric Reese from GovEx (Johns Hopkins Center for Government Excellence) was our primary contact from What Works Cities, and helped us tremendously. Thanks to all of these individuals and organizations for putting Lincoln on the open data map!


Steve said...

Do you have to be a techie to use it? I went there and couldn't figure out how to see much of anything, and I was not able to create an account. I guess you did say it was a work in progress. On the brighter side, my neighborhood is a little more peaceful and orderly now, if you know what I mean. Thanks.

Tom Casady said...

No need to create an account, Steve. Just put a keyword in the search box, like TRAFFIC or CRIME. Or just click on one of the Data Category icons, or scroll down to the featured applications.