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New York CIty metadata experts join big data project

NYC Data

Big Apple is being fuelled by big data

NEW York City’s open data policy is helping to shape services and -offer new opportunities to individuals, organisations and communities.

An open data law was passed in 2012 and in 2015 the Open Data For All initiative was launched. That has seen digital data being opened and published on a data portal ever since. Each year the city produces a report into the scheme, and the latest release shows more than 600 new datasets from 38 local agencies were opened up in the last 12 months. It brings the total number of open datasets to more than 2,000.

And this year information professionals from the city’s public, academic and ­other libraries and archives have been part of a trial to improve the metadata. The Metropolitan New York Library Council (Metro), a network of almost 250 library and information organisations, delivered a pilot programme – Metadata for All – which drew on information professionals’ skills and expertise.

Nate Hill, Executive Director of Metro, said the pilot was designed to help make the growing number of data sets more accessible to the public. He said: “As librarians and archivists, we believe that equal and open access to information builds informed communities, and informed communities are essential to democracy.”

The report highlights how the city collects its data as well as how it is put to use – both by the city government and through community opportunities. James Perazzo, Acting Director of the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics, said: “NYC Data at Work demonstrates just a few ways that public data – and the dedicated public servants who collect, manage, and analyse it – make New York City a better place to live. Our commitment to reproducible analysis and fact-based governance is making NYC Open Data an increasingly routine part of City operations.”

The next step for the project could be an Open Data Advisory Council and an initiative aimed at young people living in the city. The advisory council would enable strategic partnerships to be developed, allowing for better feedback and innovation. The Open Data Youth Leadership Council would tap into ideas from high school students in a bid to identify issues and solutions that affect them.

The full report can be found here.


Published: 23 October 2018

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