The city of Louisville, Kentucky has released its first open data audit. The report details how many new data sets have been added to local open data portals and efforts by officials to improve disclosures.
Louisville first ushered in an open data by default policy last year. So far the city includes limited expenditure data, performance metrics, and urban blight information on its various open data websites. The audit puts a new steering committee on the horizon for next year to study local data interests and needs. The city is also considering new ways of delivering its open data including mobile applications.
Still, a significant amount of heavy lifting still needs to be done to make these data portals worthwhile. One of the earliest data sets released offers historical information on the locations of old buildings and other landmarks around town – not exactly the most high value information. Foreclosure data is also available although again, that neglects the broader context around issues in Louisville that could be contributing to foreclosures.
The audit notes that the city put 71 new data sets online this year, while commendable, the slowness with which governments have historically released data sets of actual value remains troubling. We’ve seen the realities of this play out in the civic tech space which is heavily populated by shiny apps focused on transit times or cleaning up the sidewalks with few real initiatives aimed at issues of importance such as social services, homelessness or fiscal transparency. The audit notes that the city is considering its open data strategy for 2015, perhaps more of these data sets will be included. Watch this space.