Cambridge, MA city council crowdsources open data policy


Cambridge, Massachusetts is looking to take a page from neighboring cities like Boston and Somerville to create an open data policy and it is asking residents for help. According to a local press account local developers are getting frustrated by the lack of a clear path to access civic data, and the city agrees so they brought developers in to help work on policy.

Councilor Leland Cheung is working with local developers, and Boston’s Code for America Brigade to develop a plan that he will then present to the council on September 9.

Bringing Cambridge to the open data party this late is kind of surprising, the city has Harvard, a number of local startups and is adjacent to MIT – its hard to find this kind of technology firepower outside of Silicon Valley. But, the city like many others has its data points spread throughout many silos of information.

Yesterday, Cheung launched a Wiki through the city council to help capture all of the brainstorming he is doing with developers, local residents and council members.

A Cambridge Chronicle piece notes that budget talks will also come along with this discussion as the local IT department operates on a smaller budget than similarly sized cities.