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Alder Scott J. Resnick

Alder Scott J. Resnick

Home Address:
661 Mendota Ct # 1404
Madison , WI 53703

Phone: 608-807-7962
Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Madison Introduces Open Data for Startup Weekend

April 23, 2012 2:29 PM

I am excited to announce that the City of Madison has joined other communities like New York,  Chicago, and Portland to start providing open datasets for web and software developers. 

Open Data is a concept pioneered in the Gov 2.0 movement to make data generated by various city agencies available for the public. The goal of the initiative is to provide greater accessibility, transparency, and accountability by providing the community with the same data City employees use. 

For communities who have participated in the movement, the cost benefits to their city have been high. Open data often allows entrepreneurs in the community to development innovating concepts at little or no cost for the municipality. Because taxpayers are already paying for much of this data, cost savings have been generated by improving existing services and overall generating greater awareness of city resources. 

We have already seen entrepreneurs explore with city data through SMSMyBus, which allows users to send a TXT message to find out when the next bus will arrive. Other concepts in Madison have included fire maps and parking availability. While many applications are developed in-house by city developers, equally innovative applications for the web and mobile devices can now easily developed by members of the community too. For example, the City of Chicago Transit has at least 25 unique transportation applications on seven different platforms. 

Developers attending Startup Weekend on April 27th to 29th will have the first opportunity to use Madison's open dataset. This dataset will include a parcel information from the City Assessor Office and uses the same information found on the Madison's property look up system. This data on every property in Madison, including assessed value, school system information, voting location. This data has been customized for mobile use and city staff will be available to answer technical questions regarding the data. 

Overall, this is an excellent step forward for Madison, and a new vision for both the IT Department and the web development  community. Public links to these datasets will be made available in a future blog post. 

Tags: Technology

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