Each week we will bring you a summary of what happened this week on our site, on Twitter, and in the wider world of civic data. Suggest stories on Twitter with #ThisWeekInData.
Last Tuesday and Wednesday, the Civic Analytics Network hosted the Summit on Data-Smart Government. Bringing together experts on innovations in data-driven governance and an audience of city leaders, academics, private sector reps on more, the summit shared best practices on municipal data science, data visualization, human-centered design, data ethics, privacy, and more. Read GovTech’s report on the summit here.
Here on Data-Smart, Sari Ladin discussed Los Angeles’ efforts to ensure citywide data quality via a formal inventory process and Citywide Data Collaborative—a group of data liaisons in departments across the city. To inform the Collaborative’s work while empowering liaisons to manage their own data, the Mayor’s Data Team released a data standards checklist. By following this checklist, department liaisons have been able to assess which datasets the public most wants to see, and what changes are required to make that data accessible and accurate.
Also on Data-Smart, Wyatt Cmar profiled Opportunity 360, a web-based tool created by Enterprise Community partners that allows users to visualize inequalities in economic development across the country. Combining more than 150 public and proprietary data sources, Opportunity360 is at its heart a diagnostic tool, revealing not only the symptoms of unequal development, but also the underlying conditions that shape it.
According to Next City, housing advocates in New York City are pushing for the city to establish a definitive, ongoing count of vacant lots and housing units in the city. While vacant properties are very common in New York, there currently exists no official tracking mechanism for these buildings and lots. The hope is that an inventory would create public and private pressure to use this open space to address the city’s growing homelessness problem.
Next City also profiled transportation data company Ito World, which launched a commercial global bike-share stream that app developers and companies can pay to access. The stream will incorporate real-time data from more than 1,000 bike-share systems in cities around the world. This stream will help cities incorporate bike-share into transportation apps and support bike-share as an option for multimodal trip planning, as in Google Maps.
Route Fifty examined ODMAP, a smart phone application developed by the DEA’s Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) team that allows first responders to record the time and location of overdoses and transmit the information to a regional mapping database. The tool is currently used in 250 jurisdictions across 27 states, and is the only database to support a nationwide map of overdoses. Using information not only from their own jurisdictions but from across the country, cities can better understand how overdoses move from one neighborhood, city, county or state to another and stop outbreaks before they happen.
For Map Monday on Data-Smart, Chris Bousquet highlighted the Forest Preserves of Cook County Web Map, a visualization that plots each of the county’s forests and maps the trails and resources available in each. Using this map, residents are able to explore the natural resources Cook County has to offer and better plan visits to local preserves. By providing residents with this information, FPCC hopes to encourage more residents to visit the county’s preserves and accomplish its goal of improving environmental education and inspiring preservation efforts.
Robert Burack and Sanjana Dayananda showcased Pittsburgh’s open data progress report, which details Pittsburgh’s accomplishments in the two years since the city opened its data. With the hopes of expanding the audience for open data, the report focuses on user stories, which illustrate the usefulness of open data to city leaders and departments. For example, the report highlights the work University of Pittsburgh researcher Zan Dodson, who analyzed public safety open datasets to identify hotspots for opioid overdoses in order to inform prevention efforts.
Belmont Partners, an Arizona-based real estate investment group owned by former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, has invested $80 million in creating a smart city community outside Phoenix. The community will revolve around autonomous vehicles, high-speed digital networks, data centers, new manufacturing technologies, and autonomous logistics hubs. Belmont envisions that the community will be similar in size to nearby Tempe, AZ, which has a population of 182,000. Read more at CNN Tech.