The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has voted in favor of creating an open data portal for county records. Budgets, crime statistics, welfare and other facets of the public’s business are to be made available through an online hub for information and data.
The county will also create an open data task force to identify other datasets that can be released through the portal. The task force has 90 days to report back to the county with its findings.
Los Angeles isn’t the first municipality to join the open data movement, but the vote is significant given the size of the county and how many people could soon find themselves with access to city and county information. If done well the site could be a significant improvement over other open government efforts in the city which have focused largely on data that isn’t all that high value, or comprehensive.
Still, while municipalities slowly move toward more openness, a lot of work remains. According to the latest edition of the Open Data Barometer, which was released by the World Wide Web Foundation on Tuesday, fewer than 8 percent of countries surveyed offer high value data online, this includes budget information, earned benefits information, lobbying records or contracts records.