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Mayor Signs Executive Order to Publish Open Data

5/12/2014

Metro Launches Open Data Portal Today; Invites Community to Nashville’s National Day of Civic Hacking Event

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Karl Dean today signed the Metro Government Open Data Executive Order that increases the public’s access to government data and makes it available in a format that enables members of the community to build new technologies, such as mobile applications, to make the data more user-friendly to consumers.

Read the Executive Order

The open data portal is at https://data.nashville.gov and launched today with more than 20 different datasets provided by 15 Metro departments. Datasets currently available include locations of MTA bus stops, public WiFi, public art, beer permits and historic markers, as well as building permits and Metro employee salaries. Additional datasets will be added over time.

“This site is the destination for the public to access Metro Government data in a new way,” Mayor Dean said. “We have seen how mobile apps have become integrated into our lives on a day to day basis. Our new open data portal will enable software developers to create new mobile apps that the entire Nashville community can benefit from.”

The publicly available data portal hosts government data in open, machine-readable formats, while also ensuring privacy, confidentiality and security. This portal will enable civic technologists, entrepreneurs, innovators, researchers, and others use to use the data to generate new products and services, build businesses and develop community resources in partnership with government to better serve the public.

Nashville joins local, state and federal government agencies across the country that have created open data portals in recent years to partner with the community in taking advantage of new technology platforms, to be responsive to community members interested in civic data and to increase transparency and accountability in local government.

“This open data initiative also will benefit Metro internally by allowing departments to share data across agencies to facilitate interdepartmental collaboration,” said Keith Durbin, Metro Chief Information Officer/Director of Information Technology. “The executive order directs each Metro department to assign someone as a data coordinator and together they will work as an open data team.”

Metro’s open data portal is hosted by Socrata Inc., which hosts open data portals for many of the country’s large cities.

Today’s signing ceremony took place at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center in space used by Jumpstart Foundry, a business acceleration program that incubates start-up tech companies, including start-ups that utilize government data in their products.

National Day of Civic Hacking Event

The signing of the Executive Orders comes in advance of the White House-sponsored Second Annual National Day of Civic Hacking, which takes place from May 30 to June 1. As part of the event, approximately 100 cities nationally will host local events to explore using government open data.

Nashville’s event will be held at the downtown Music City Center, kicking off with a half-day data summit on Friday, May 30 and a weekend of coding on May 31 and June 1. ; Space is limited to 150 people for this free event and interested community members can register http://hack4changenash.org/.

“We are excited to coordinate the Nashville event for the National Day of Civic Hacking and are looking forward to exploring Metro Government’s new open data portal and datasets over the weekend,” said Amber Adams of the Code for America-affiliated Nashville Civic Brigade. “We anticipate several prototypes of new mobile apps to be developed, such as a walking tour of Nashville’s historic markers and the city’s public art collection.”

“Access to data from Metro Government allows community members who like to code to act on their civic pride of living in Nashville in a unique way.” Jacques Woodcock, co-coordinator of the National Day of Civic Hacking event, said. “Nashville’s active software developer community is always looking for interesting datasets to work with to create new apps.”

The event will also include a live demonstration by the 2014 Multi-City Innovation Campaign, a partnership across the cities of Boston, Nashville, Palo Alto and Raleigh. This initiative, led by Nashville’s Office of Innovation, supports the development of sustainable and scalable mobile applications using government open data. The six finalists and the selection of the winner will be announced at the event on May 31. More information on the program is at http://2014cityinnovation.populr.me/.

Photos provided by Metro Photographic Services.

Mayor Karl Dean speaks on Monday, May 12 at the signing ceremony for the Open Data Executive Order.

Mayor Karl Dean is joined by representatives from Metro Government and Nashville’s software developer community at the signing ceremony of the Open Data Executive Order. From Left to Right: Houston Runion, Metro ITS; Tina Sharma, Mayor’s Office intern; Jules White, Vanderbilt University assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science; Rebekah Stephens, Coordinator of Strategic Business Plan Development for Metro Office of Management and Budget; Mayor Karl Dean; Keith Durbin, Metro Chief Information Officer/Director of Information Technology; Jennifer Higgs, Director of Metro GIS and Mapping Services; Jacques Woodcock, co-coordinator of the Nashville National Day of Civic Hacking; Amber Adams, Co-Leader, Nashville Civic Brigade; Yiaway Yeh, Co-Chief in the Office of Innovation.

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