On May 20, Councilmember Sittenfeld and Interim City Manager Stiles announced the roll out of the City of Cincinnati's new Open Data Policy to make public data more available to the public in user friendly formats.
Following a Motion passed by City Council earlier this year, the City Administration worked to put together a policy and implementation plan that includes designating a Chief Data Officer, establishing a cross-departmental Open Data Working Group, and setting out a four year plan to make all city datasets publicly available online in open format. City Manager Stiles will sign the Administrative Regulation setting the work plan in motion.
The City Manager noted that "it's not the City staff's data, it's not City Council's data, it's the people's data". As Chair of the Education & Entrepreneurship Committee, Councilmember Sittenfeld noted that the applications and consequences of this far surpass just more efficiency and transparency in government. Sittenfeld calls this step an "invitation to innovation", noting that "talented innovators can use the City's liberated data to improve quality of life and to make government more efficient". In other cities that have undertaken this kind of initiative, technology entrepreneurs have built businesses around mapping data in new ways, synthesizing data that is collected for governments to make them more efficient, and bringing the public data to the public in a more user friendly way.
Cincinnati is the first city in Ohio to have an Administrative Regulation, and legislation is moving through the Ohio State Legislature that would make much of Ohio's data available as well.
Cincinnati's Open Data can be found at opendatacincy.org, hosted by the Haile Foundation, and this process will be dynamic, with more data being added on an ongoing basis.