By Data-Smart City Solutions • May 22, 2015

Each week we will bring you a summary of what happened this week on our site, on Twitter, and in the wider world of municipal data. Suggest stories on Twitter with #ThisWeekInData.

Capital New York reports the new payphone wi-fi program Link NYC has the potential to be a "platform for citizen engagement" by letting citizens rank local issues, like education, on the unit’s display.

Safouen Rabah, vice president of product for the open data company Socrata, sat down with GovTech to give advice for governments launching open data 2.0 initiatives. How can governments write the next chapter of open data? Think platform, not portal.

The White House wants open data to help local police forces, StateScoop reports. President Obama announced an initiative to use data to improve how community forces operate. The Police Data Initiative, born out of Obama’s task force on 21st century policing, will examine how open data and innovative technologies can improve the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they protect.

Route Fifty says Maryland’s most populous county is holding itself accountable by publicly tracking department performance toward executive goals. Montgomery County is taking stats it started recording a decade ago and sharing them across departments to establish transparent performance measurements.

Civicist talked with Michele Jolin, CEO and co-founder of Results for America and campaign manager for Bloomberg Philanthropies What Works Cities, a $42 million initiative that provides technical assistance and expertise to 100 mid-sized cities to help them develop solutions for their biggest challenges using data and evidence, to discuss its opportunities and potential.

The Citi Foundation and Living Cities announced their selection of five cities to join the City Accelerator Initiative, a $3 million effort to promote municipal innovation. Albuquerque, Atlanta, Baltimore, New Orleans and Seattle will receive up to $170,000 in funds and/or support services to improve citizen engagement in local issues like health care, urban planning and entrepreneurship, Next City reports.

The tech startup TransLoc wants to help public transit compete with Uber, Fast Co.Exist says. Public transportation agencies are worried about losing riders to faster private transportation options, so TransLoc is helping city buses catch up to current technology—and start offering flexible, on-demand services along with the fixed routes that have been standard for the last century.

Pulling from the city of Philadelphia’s highly active twitter feed and video interviews, Route Fifty explores key principles of the customer service experience from Philadelphia’s chief customer experience strategy, innovation, and technology officer, Rosetta Carrington Lue. The priority? People want information now.

Writing for GovTech, Daniel Castro explains why governments wanting to improve public services with data-driven technology need to work harder than ever to recruit, hire, and retrain highly skilled data engineers and managers.

New from our team:

Here at Data-Smart, Research Fellow Sean Thornton breaks down Chicago’s recently completed analytics-driven pilot program to optimize the city’s food inspections process. And Professor Stephen Goldsmith brings you the most valuable takeaways from Chicago’s pilot--the essential elements for getting the most out of any data analytics initiative.