Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

To Write Open Data Standards, New York Opens the Floor

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, April 18 2012

New York City's Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications has created a wiki for the public to help contribute to the implementation of the city's recently passed open data legislation.

While much of the law's specifications requiring the posting of local government data are not going to be enacted until 2013, or later, one of the law's provisions requires that DoITT establish citywide policies and technical standards for open data by September 4, 2012.

The wiki has several editable sections with initial definitions of terms used in the legislation and suggested policies and standards. The Definitions page, for example, details exactly what is meant by everything from data and data set to metadata and open standard.

According to the wiki, DoITT will also be hosting two events related to its open data plans during Internet Week. One will offer an introduction to the policies and technical standards, while the other will be a hack day with DoITT employees and the open government community.

The announcement comes after one of the key figures in the open data bill's creation, DoITT Commissioner Carole Post, announced her resignation Friday. According to reports in the New York Times, she had clashed with her boss, Deputy Mayor Caswell Holloway, over the performance of several key city IT projects. Post will be taking up a position at New York Law School.

City officials say she's leaving due the quality of the job offer and deny that city leadership had lost confidence in her. A DoITT spokesman, Nicholas Sbordone, also disputed that the agency is off-track, pointing to publicly available performance statistics.

Last night, the city also announced the winners of its Big Apps competition, which encourages developers to develop applications using open city data. The top entry is an application called NYCFacets, which calls itself a "Smart Open Data Exchange" that provides a better interface for accessing city data, especially for non-developers. Other prizes went to an application that helps users find Wi-Fi hotspots, another that searches Pre-K and elementary school information, an application that helps subway riders plan commutes without Wi-Fi underground, while another alerts users on the street if they are passing a location from a famous film.

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

Mark Pesce on "Hypercivility" at @CivicHall

A week ago, digital ethnologist Mark Pesce gave a talk here at Civic Hall on the topic of "Hypercivility." As you will see from watching the video, it's an extension of years of research and thinking he has done on the effects of hyperconnectivity on our world. Be forewarned, this is not an "easy" talk to watch or digest. While Pesce definitely has our social-media-powered "Age of Outrage" on his mind, he grounds his talk in a much more serious place: post-genocide Rwanda, which he recently visited. GO

First POST: Impossibles

The FCC vote; a proxy Democratic primary battle in Chicago; Gov Andrew Cuomo begins deleting all state employee emails more than 90 days old; men talking about women in tech; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Off the Books

Chicago's "black site"; The New York Times reports "little guys" like Tumblr and Reddit have won the fight for net neutrality but fails to mention Free Press or Demand Progress; Hillary Clinton fan products on Etsy to inspire campaign slogans?; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Challenges

How Silicon Valley donors are thinking about Hillary Clinton 2016; Yahoo's security chief locks horns with the head of the NSA; Instagram location data catches a Congressman with his hand in the till; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Bows

CitizenFour wins best doc; Ken Silverstein resigned from First Look Media and took to Facebook to vent; why we need more Congressional staffers; who profits from the net neutrality debate; banning PowerPoint presentations; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Sim Pickings

Using stolen encryption keys, the NSA and GCHQ can intercept and decrypt communications between billions of phones without notifying the service provider, foreign governments or users; get to know Sarah Harrison, the WikiLeaks editor who helped Snowden gain asylum in Russia; a profile of the Fight for the Future leaders; how the new wave of black community organizing is not hashtag activism; and much, much more. GO

More