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WEEKLY OVERVIEW

Fort Worth launches open data website

Fort Worth has joined the ever-growing community of open data governments by launching an online portal with direct access to information. The website, data.fortworthtexas.gov, was made public last month and currently has certificates of occupancy, development permits and residential permits available for download in several formats, including Excel and PDF. The goal is to get the most-requested data online first, said Brian Chatman, content strategy coordinator for the city’s website. The site has easy-to-use tools to visualize the information, such as creating charts or graphs, and also provides a quick way to embed the data onto another website.

Open Data Catalogue could bring parking apps, help economy: Halifax councillor

A permanent Open Data Catalogue could soon be available for HRM residents to find out all kids of useful information – including how to find that elusive downtown parking spot. The Open Data project ran from January 2013 to 2014 and included the Apps4Halifax contest, during which 276 ideas were submitted, leading to 38 apps for public use.

More than economics: The social impact of open data

The national governments of the US, the UK, and other G7 nations have been focusing more attention on the economic value of open data, as opposed to broader societal benefits. While pointing to evidence that open data fuels economic activity is a good rationale for the release of relevant data sets, it's far from the only impact that releasing government data can have upon the world.

Graphing New Yorkers' Lives Through the Open Data Portal

The I Quant NY blog mines NYC's massive data clearinghouse to visualize issues facing city dwellers, from education to eating. Ben Wellington is the man behind I Quant NY, a blog dedicated to telling the stories hidden in New York City’s Open Data Portal, a clearinghouse of more than 1,300 data sets from city agencies. Started by the city government in 2011, the open data initiative’s goal is to facilitate government transparency and increase civic engagement.

Empowering the citizen: the endless opportunities of open data

Open data has the potential to stimulate innovation and improve public services yet many citizens are unaware or indifferent to its impact. Interestingly, the UK government is believed to be leading the world with its open data initiatives. Since its launch at the beginning of 2010, the government’s data.gov.uk website has amassed over 14,000 datasets, including information on traffic, deprivation, council expenditures and obesity.

City of Riverside Making Headway with New Open Data Portal

With its brand new citywide transparency portal launched earlier this month, Riverside joinsLos Angeles, Palo Alto, and other California cities that are embracing transparency and open data with a giant bear hug. The city claims that the newly launched site “EngageRiverside” gives unfettered access to 815,000 documents that contain 3.4 million pages worth of information on any facts or data sets that inquiring citizens or journalists would want to know.

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