Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has been pushing ever more public data into the spotlight in his state and now even more of it will be available. The state has announced its first ever statewide open data portal which it says will be open to researchers, entrepreneurs, public servants and citizens with a wide variety of data to support transparency and innovation in government. Data such as vendor payments, vehicle accidents, licensed veterinary clinics, GIS mapping data, and per capita electricity consumption will all be made available and housed in a central place for the public.
The Governor made this announcement at a panel discussion hosted in conjunction with the Future of Information Alliance (FIA) – a transdisciplinary partnership between the University of Maryland, College Park and 10 founding partners. The panel featured “futurists” and over 120 students, entrepreneurs and public servants who spoke about the importance of big data to better serve and inform the public.
Governor O’Malley and the State of Maryland joined the Future of Information Alliance in February 2012.
Prior to the launch of the portal, Governor O’Malley launched StateStat based on the same model he used for his first program CitiStat. These initiatives are designed to provide greater awareness to the public and foster more efficient deployment of state resources. Notably, the portal launched with the inclusion of several high value datasets including budget data, a welcome addition as many open data portals have launched with data of limited value and limited use.
“Big Data is forever changing the way we manage, market, and move information, and in Maryland, it is also changing the way we govern with better choices and better results,” said Governor O’Malley.