PITTSBURGH, PA (July 2, 2014) – In early 2014, the City of Pittsburgh passed Open Data legislation, introduced by Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, with strong support from Mayor Peduto. With the bill came a commitment to working with the public to develop a portal through which anyone can access data collected and/or maintained by city government, setting the city’s default to “open.”
Work on the Open Data program has been ongoing since February. Staff members from all departments are working together to understand the current state of the city’s data resources and are consulting with University partners to develop flexible, user-friendly ways to make data available for residents.
As the city works to document the availability, quality, and management of city data, they are seeking input from the community on determining which data-sets are deemed useful. Feedback collected will be used to prioritize how city data-sets will be released. It will also be used to create a connection with community groups and individuals that are interested in specific data-sets to make sure results are formatted in a useful and effective way.
The City of Pittsburgh launched Pgh Dataforum as a platform for Pittsburghers to identify what data they want to see and why. Powered by Engage Pittsburgh, Pgh Dataforum is designed to encourage residents, community groups and researchers to tell the story of how city data can support their projects or interests. Pgh Dataforum allows residents to connect with each other as well as to city staff. The site also includes a high-level listing of the types of information held by the City of Pittsburgh.
Submitting a request to the Pgh Dataforum represents participation in the ongoing conversation about how the City of Pittsburgh can better support the community through information sharing. City staff will consider all requests and, in time, make as much data available as possible. Official Right to Know requests should still be facilitated through the Solicitor’s office.
To date, representatives of neighborhood groups have requested information about traffic crashes, crime, and problem landlords to help with their program planning. Others have requested business registration information, 311 calls, and the City payroll and roster.
Please visit the Pgh Dataforum to share your thoughts: http://pittsburghpa.gov/pghdataforum/