The City of New York is ramping up its efforts to make some of the vast amounts data it gathers and stores more easily accessible. A recent post on the New York Times blog, City Room, detailed major web initiatives that the city just announced it is working on:
- Launch NYC Big Apps, an annual competition for technology companies to develop proposals for new applications to make data sets more usable (the city has selected eighty data sets from thirty-two different agencies for entrants to work with).
- Create a 311 portal site that pulls together all the data on complaints that New Yorkers have left on the city’s 311 phone number.
- Use Skype and Twitter as additional ways to communicate with the city (you’ll be able to call 311 via Skype and receive alerts from the city via Twitter)
- Work with Google to get a better handle on how users are searching for information on NYC.gov and for city information generally in Google searches
A number of outside companies are already scraping data from various city data sets and offering a friendly interface to that data. A great example of such an enterprise can be found in the EveryBlock service, which offers data harvested from municipal sources in fifteen cities, such as:
Chan, Sewell and Patrick McGeehan. “City Invites Software Developers to Crunch Big Data Sets.” City Room. The New York Times. 29 June 2009. Web. 8 July 2009.
City of New York. Mayor Bloomberg Announces Five Technology Initiatives to Improve Accessibility, Transparency and Accountability Across City Government. 29 June 2009. Web. 8 July 2009.
EveryBlock. Web. 8 July 2009.
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Tags : Competitions, Data sets, EveryBlock, Google, Michael Bloomberg, New York, Patrick McGeehan, Portals, Search, Sewell Chan, Skype, The New York Times, Twitter, Web services