Small, medium and large cities share how open data efforts are evolving in their communities.
Open the data and the citizen miners will come — and they just might develop an app, map or other innovative product not yet envisioned by busy local government officials.
That’s been the experience of many local governments as they place more data online for public consumption. Initially open data initiatives grew out of a desire to increase government transparency and reduce staff time in processing public information requests. For the most part, the initiatives are achieving those goals. But a growing number of entrepreneurial residents — in addition to creative local government staff — are using the data to develop products that help citizens access services and interact with public agencies. Local governments are even sponsoring hackathons as a way to entice residents to develop new apps from the data.