New City of Madison Open Data Ordinance

June 11, 2012

A new ordinance making city data more accessible will be introduced at the Madison Common Council meeting on Tuesday, June 12th. The ordinance is being introduced by Alder Scott Resnick and co-sponsored by Alders Mark Clear, Sayta Rhodes-Conway and Chris Schmidt. It establishes a process for agencies to publish most of the city's data or "data sets" through the city's website and make them available to the public on a self-service basis. Exceptions are made for information that is confidential or otherwise not subject to release under the public records law.

If adopted, Madison will be the first city in Wisconsin and one of first in the Midwest to codify an open data policy.

"This ordinance will enhance Madison's commitment to a transparent government, harness the talents of civically-minded entrepreneurs, and improve government efficiency. By making these data sets easily accessible to developers, new innovations can be created that benefit the entire community," said Alder Resnick.

The Madison technology community, including software developers and other citizens would have the ability to utilize city data for creating new applications, including smart phone applications.

Madison's technology and entrepreneurship community has grown exponentially within the last year. New applications have been released by the City as well as the development community promoting Madison Metro Transit, the Dane County Farmer's Market, fire department services, and local events.

Mayor Paul Soglin, a strong supporter of the ordinance stated, "This ordinance will provide a boost to Madison's highly educated technical workforce, provide new job opportunities and promote enhanced service delivery to residents and visitors alike."

Madison Information Technology Director, Paul Kronberger and staff will provide consultation and technical assistance to all city agencies in the implementation.

The ordinance will be referred to the Economic Development Committee, Common Council Organizational Committee and the Board of Estimates for recommendation to the full Council.

Contact:
  • Alder Scott Resnick, 608-237-6285