As part of the mayor’s new “Smart City Vision,” San Jose launched an online data portal to improve public access to information about the city.
The website—data.sanjoseca.gov—is part of an open data policy approved by the City Council earlier this week. City officials hope the policy and online information hub will encourage the public to analyze datasets and improve public services.
“We live in the most innovative community on the planet,” Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a statement. “By making our city data more open and accessible to the public, we have the opportunity to embrace ‘the wisdom of the crowd’ to really help move our city forward.”
Exempted from the policy are data that violate privacy laws, including privileged information or compromise security. Having more eyes on all that information will hopefully lead to ideas that make the city more efficient, the mayor said.
By parsing through reports about public safety issues, for example, someone could identify “hotspots” for car crashes, crime and illegal dumping. By putting all that information in an easy-to-find place, the city is urging people to drum up new analyses, visualizations and applications to solve problems facing the city.
“Opening our data to the community is the first step in turning our city into a platform,” said Shireen Santosham, the mayor’s chief innovation officer. “In the coming years, we’ll add more datasets that can benefit residents by not only having more data to experiment with but also providing the opportunity to create applications that further improve services and the community’s quality of life.
The information will eventually get translated to Vietnamese and Spanish, city officials said.