Nashville creates open data portal

The city of Nashville has joined a “civic data” movement across the country in providing sets of government data on its website for download by citizens or citizen groups to create useful applications and to promote transparency.

The executive order has been in the works for several months, and led by Mayor Karl Dean’s co-chief innovation officer Yiaway Yeh.

The portal “will serve as the destination for public access to Metro government data in a whole new way,” Dean told The Tennessean.

Among the initial data sets are building permits, property standards violations, eBid monthly sales, government employee base salaries, park locations and special event permits and arts grants.

Here’s an excerpt from the executive order signed by Dean:

A. This Executive Order is adopted to advance the following policies of the Metropolitan
Government, to:
1) Use technology to foster an open, transparent, and accessible government.
2) Seek opportunities for economic development, commerce, increased investment, and
civic engagement by supporting public use of Open Data.
3) Reduce duplication of services.

B. To achieve these policies, it is the objective of the Metropolitan Government to:
1) Publish Open Data in a timely and consistent manner.
2) Publish Open Data in machine-readable formats that engage the community by
soliciting their ideas, input, and creative energy to support the development of
applications and tools that enable the public to access, visualize, and analyze Open Data
in new and innovative ways.
3) Adopt standards that improve transparency, access to Open Data, and improved
coordination and efficiencies across Metropolitan Government departments.

The project was coordinated with the Second Annual Hack for Change Nashville event May 30-June 1, which is sponsored by Code for America and the White House, and organized locally by the Nashville Civic Brigade.

At the event, coders will use civic data to create real-world applications.

What do you think?