It’s somewhat taken for granted that Chicago civic hackers have access to a plethora of data. This includes the city code – which is available online for anyone and everyone to see and download. To get the code to this point takes a lot of work.
Julia Ellis, Policy Director of the Office of City Clerk, spoke at the last OpenGov Chicago Meetup to explain the process of getting the city code online and how the process is far more complicated than it sounds.
We work in the civic innovation sector of the technology industry to improve lives in cities, improve relationships between residents and government, and create sustainable business models that support an innovative ecosystem. Having brass-tacks explications of the actual work (not what we perceive the work to be) is critical.
Last week, Smart Chicago hosted the OpenGov Chicago-land meetup at the Chicago Cultural Center with a great lineup of authoritative speakers:
Susana Mendoza, City Clerk of the City of Chicago, Julia Ellis, Legislative Counsel at Chicago City Clerk, Carl Malamud, President and Founder of Public.Resource.Org, Waldo Jaquith, an Open Government Technologist who is leading an effort to test the Open Data Institute model for open data standards in the United States, and Seamus Kraft, Executive Director of the OpenGov Foundation talk about the code by which we rule our city.
We’ve compiled all the videos of the presentation below the fold:
On October 30th at 6:00pm – Smart Chicago will be live streaming the OpenGov Chicago meetup where we’ll review the City’s Technology Plan below:
Today the City of Chicago launched the City of Chicago Data Dictionary, a single, comprehensive database catalog for the City of Chicago and City of Chicago sister agencies. The data dictionary contains detailed information on every data set held by City agencies and departments, how and if it may be accessed, and in which formats it may be accessed.
The City of Chicago Data Dictionary marks an important advance in open government data because it provides vast insight into how local government works. In concert with the City’s data portal, which is one of the largest raw data stores for a municipality anywhere, residents can now download available data, as well as examine the structure of all the data the City uses to make things work around here.
Tom Schenk Jr, Director of Analytics and Performance for the City of Chicago, announced the launch at the Code for America Summit in San Francisco. The City also published the underlying code for their data dictionary (titled “metalicious”). This code allows governments, businesses, and nonprofits– any organization that maintains multiple databases– a great resource for publishing their own data dictionaries.