The State of Open Data is Alive and Well in Tennessee and Driving Innovation

An interesting update on Open Data in Tennessee, Chattanooga to be more precise, provides a detailed look at Open Data, Open Government initiatives (OpenGov) and shares an up close look at initiatives and efforts by the city while also sharing a vision for the future. Perhaps a model for other local governments to follow, the City has a robust data initiative with a goal of ensuring that timely, accurate, and complete data are made available to the public, developers, and the business community via their Open Data portal – well done! The report shows that more than 200 datasets are now available to the public, page views are up 5X year-over-year, downloads have more than doubled, and users are up considerably.

open data report

Some key highlights of the report are the focus on partnerships and community in order to strengthen the ties between Government and the public. An increased awareness of regional data is bolstered by connectivity with a geospatial warehouse and there’s also an emphasis on encouraging and promoting the development of civic-focused applications.¬† According to the city, anyone can access the online portal, where data on reducing violence, growing the local economy, improving literacy, strengthening neighborhoods, and other community priorities, is readily available and continually refreshed. The 2016 Open Data Report reviews how people are using data available on the portal and increasing transparency through access to new datasets and enhanced community engagement. (Source: TheChattanoogan)

Key Findings of 2016

  • Multiple departments and agencies work together to ensure timely, accurate, and complete data on the open data portal

  • More participation from community partners strengthens data available

  • Number of open datasets available are growing

  • The public is more engaged with the the open data portal portal

  • Data is being leveraged for apps and software development across the community

  • The City is working on automating uploads to ensure timely access to data

Key Findings for the Year Ahead

  • Upgrades to the portal and a new related informational website are underway

  • Citizens will be able to request a dataset they would like to see on the portal

  • A new website will allow citizens to sign up to receive program updates

Past hackathons in the area have lead developers to create useful applications such as browsing 311 requests to informing residents how to easily find and contact their police precinct. Interesting trends show that some of the most popular datasets accessed by the public include: E911 active calls, 311 service  requests, traffic citations, crime data, and bicycle trip data.

Well done to Chattanooga!

As developers of GEO tech applications and services ourselves, we’re always stoked to see efforts like this that help drive awareness to geo and related technologies (like GIS, mapping, mobile, and web services). We’d like to think that our free Mapfolio application for ArcGIS Online (recently updated to V 2.0)¬† and Admin Tools for ArcGIS administrators area fine tools that OpenData hackers, mashup artists and Open Data portal managers and administrators can use to help them manage their public data portal.

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GEOspatial Evangelist & CMO

Geographer, GIS professional, writer, and fan of all things mobile.

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