[OSM-talk] presenting the case for open data to local government?

Michal Migurski mike at teczno.com
Tue Oct 15 17:20:57 UTC 2013

On Oct 10, 2013, at 6:27 PM, Daniel Joseph wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> I was wondering if anyone had experience conveying to local government all the reasons for opening up data. The city where I grew up has a clunky "GIS web portal" with which you can only view data. A neighboring city will provide data but their data release form includes the following: "The data is provided solely for the use of the requesting party and may not be made available to anyone else."
> I want to put together a succinct and well-documented argument that I can send along to a city council member/ mayor/ city manager/ etc.
> Anything you're willing to pass along (comments, suggestions, something you've written up, research, etc) would be much appreciated.

The cities we work with at Code for America are already pretty much on-board with open data, but the GIS departments and data owners often have reservations. They worry about how the inevitable mistakes in the data will be perceived, about liability, and about a wider community of data users complaining to them.

Do you have the bandwidth to hold hands a bit, and offer a chance for cities to accept data changes from the broader community? Many of the OSM-based change detection projects like OWL and Changewithin might help with this. I've been working on an update to Changewithin designed to address cities beyond New York, for example:

Some chit-chat on the subject here:


michal migurski- contact info and pgp key:
sf/ca            http://mike.teczno.com/contact.html

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