Boston, San Francisco Expand Open Data Policies


Boston and San Francisco have both announced expansions to how city government will approach open data.

In an announcement made late last week, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh unveiled a new open data policy that will expand the data sets available to the public. Those data sets are still lacking in terms of real value, however. The expansion list includes:

— Usage information from the City’s ParkBoston meter parking payment program

— Boston Police Department firearm recovery data

— Usage information for the City’s Wicked Free WiFi initiative

— Residential recycling/waste tonnage

— Active user counts from the Boston Public Libraries

In San Francisco, Mayor Edwin Lee released a two-year strategic plan for the city’s open data efforts. The plan includes making data readily available in a timely manner by deploying data automation procedures that will release data sets more frequently. San Francisco is also looking at establishing data standards to create consistency. As CivSource has previously reported, some of those standards like LIVES and BLDS are already available to municipalities.

Currently, DataSF has 264 published datasets and 740 inventoried datasets. DataSF In Progress will show the status of data publishing, department publishing plans, and classifies dataset inventory by department. So far, there are 35 inventories completed and 21 data plans.

“Not only will we continue to open our data so that others can create new value from it, we will continue to transform how we use data within the City to ensure our services meet the needs of our residents and businesses,” Mayor Lee said in a statement.