Technology Tank Fellow Ian Cillay (left) discusses Open Data with Jason Hare, Open Data Program Manager for the City of Raleigh (right)

Talking Open Data

Cary NC – Last night, Technology Tank Fellow Ian Cillay and myself met with Jason Hare, the Open Data Program Manager for the City of Raleigh to discuss Open Data and the upcoming Cary Open Data Day.  Jason will be a speaker at Cary Open Data Day.

There were quite a lot of interesting things discussed at the meeting about Open Data:

  • Jason may be one of the only people in the US with the title of ‘Open Data’ anything!
  • Open Data, Open Source and Open Government all mean different things.
  • Europe has privacy policies much stricter that the US and they don’t see why we cannot get control of information with personal identifying information.  Maybe the many overlapping jurisdictions in the US all having different laws on the privacy issue for one thing?
  • There needs to be a common structure as municipalities create Open Data structures to allow apps to work as people move from Municipality to municipality. Just think if the electrical charging connections for electric cars were different in every city; no one would make electric cars…
  • The City of Raleigh has taken over support of the Raleigh Greenway App using City of Raleigh resources – data sets.  The Greenway App was originally developed out of a 3-day Raleigh CityCamp.  Raleigh has decided to be the authoritative source of this important information tool.

Jason was very complimentary about the report of the Cary Technology Task Force, and has read the 239 page report (pdf) to the Cary Town Council.  The report was described to Jason as a ‘suggestion’ of what the Cary citizens want from the Town in the way of Technology interaction.  Jason feels that the Town of Cary received quite a jewel with the report.

Raleigh started their Open Data efforts with a 5 sentence directive, and Jason has been working with citizen groups, City staff and Internet governing bodies to define the policies and practices necessary to make Open Data possible for Raleigh.  Raleigh is pursuing Open Data as an economic development tool.  If large amounts of data become easily available (without the personal identifying information which would lead to privacy concern issues) then entrepreneurs will move in to make the data available in many useful ways.  Successful businesses will bring economic vitality and increased tax revenues for the City.

Raleigh is looking at Open Data as a necessary City infrastructure, much like streets, street lighting, fire hydrants, etc.  Not a bad way to look at something that we all own.

A Raleigh Code for America Brigade will be coming to Cary Open Data Day to assist with the nascent Open Data efforts in Cary.  Make sure you register for Cary Open Data Day so you can learn more and participate.


1 reply
  1. Jason Hare
    Jason Hare says:

    Thank you Ian(s) for your comments and feedback regarding open data in general and Open Data Day in Cary. The Greenway App is an excellent example of collaboration between citizens (developing the app) and the city (providing the data). Currently Rgreenway is being supported through volunteers within the city supported by Raleigh’s data. I look forward to meeting everyone on February 23rd.

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