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

Alex Barth alex at mapbox.com
Wed Oct 16 22:53:01 UTC 2013

Daniel -

I don't have an open data manifesto for you, but a couple of examples of
where government is engaging with OpenStreetMap, which always comes with
some understanding of the value of opening data.

Earlier this year I've done quick research on who's using OSM in gov and
summarized what I found here:
http://openstreetmap.us/2013/04/openstreetmap-in-government/ - this has a
US focus and there is more going on an international level. Robert Soden
(GFDRR/World Bank) and Muki Haklay (University College London) are working
on lining up resources for doing research and writing a paper on OSM for
gov, you might want to connect with them.

Mike's already pointed out the changewithin feed we're using for notifying
NYC of OSM data changes, this is in the context of NYC gov, OSM NYC  and
MapBox collaborating around a building and address import. For me that's an
exciting opportunity to find out how we can use OSM as a geo collaboration
platform for citizens and government.


I've posted a round up of our first community event last weekend in NYC


The Canadian mapping agency is using a similar mechanism to maintain CanVec.

On Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 2:44 PM, Michal Migurski <mike at teczno.com> wrote:

> On Oct 15, 2013, at 10:20 AM, Michal Migurski wrote:
> >> 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.
> >
> > ...
> Just to follow up on this, last night we got some newsworthy closure on
> open data policy in Oakland:
> http://oaklandlocal.com/2013/10/oakland-city-council-approves-open-data-policy-community-voices/
> "Tonight, the Oakland City Council unanimously approved Councilmember
> Libby Schaaf’s Open Data Policy, requiring Oakland’s public data to be
> proactively made available in useable formats, which will empower the
> citizens of Oakland to better access information and work to improve
> government."
> The pass by consent with no discussion or concern is part of a longer
> story. Last year, Oakland city council voted on a similar resolution, and
> ended up eviscerating it. All resolutions were replaced with a decision to
> kick the can down the road by studying costs (that's bad).
>         http://teczno.com/s/18l
> What happened in the intervening year? The cost estimate for putting up a
> Socrata-run open data site came back low enough that no further city
> council approval was required. People inside city hall continued to push
> for open data. Developers and activists outside city hall (
> http://openoakland.org) met regularly and demonstrated the value and
> applications of open data. This success was not the result of any
> particularly documented argument, but the sustained push of a community
> group.
> -mike.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
> michal migurski- contact info and pgp key:
> sf/ca            http://mike.teczno.com/contact.html
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