County Encourages Input at Open Data Town Hall (Video)

Tables with large pads of paper served as empty canvases for local residents to write their ideas for the county data they’d like access to online.

Montgomery County Chief Innovation Officer Dan Hoffman speaks during the first Open Data Town Hall.

Montgomery County Chief Innovation Officer Dan Hoffman speaks during the first Open Data Town Hall.

The event was the county’s first “Open Data Town Hall” and it brought a crowd of people to the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center on the anniversary of the open data program’s launch, taking the next step in shining a light on new ways to explore and use the county’s public data.

“We want to be an open government,” said Dan Hoffman. “It’s pretty resource intensive to get these published so we want to get input before we start taking a kitchen sink approach to publishing data.”

Chief Information Officer Sonny Segal said the county is going through more than 800 systems, applications and interfaces to mine and prepare data for new open data projects to help the government become more transparent.

“We are taking our open government program to be a partnership it’s not entirely a government endeavor,” Segal said. “We have actually the public’s data that we’re responsible for but it’s really the public who can help us put this data together to make a bigger composite that actually results in meaningful services.”

While the idea of an “open government” isn’t a new idea, the thought of a “town hall” to include residents in the planning process is an innovation brainstormed by Hoffman in order to take the county’s open data program to a new level.

Representatives from the Sunlight Foundation attended the county meeting to help residents get the most out of their government with this unique opportunity to speak up.

Montgomery County Chief Information Officer Sonny Segal speaks during the county's Open Data Town Hall.

Montgomery County Chief Information Officer Sonny Segal speaks during the county’s Open Data Town Hall.

“I’m here because I am trying to spread open data all around the country and Montgomery County’s doing a great job in DC’s backyard,” said Rebecca Williams, Policy Analyst for the Sunlight Foundation. “I want to see citizens of Montgomery County get really excited about open data the way I’m excited about open data. I think this is the first step in many open data town halls and then figuring out how to engage with folks that can’t make it to these sorts of events like either online or through other events.”

So what’s the most frequent request for data? Hoffman said it’s mostly the information related to daily life. Information that many local residents believe should be available at their fingertips.

“People love transit data and people also love crime data. Everybody has to commute for the most part and everybody’s effected by police, fire and rescue so those are typically the most popular.”

Find more information on the county’s open data platform “dataMontgomery” here.

What is Open Data? (Video)

Dan Hoffman Data Townhall

In this MyMCMedia extra, Chief Innovation Officer Dan Hoffman defines the term “open data.”

Read more

Popular Data on Data Montgomery (Video)

Dan Hoffman at Open Data Townhall

In this MyMCMedia extra, Chief Innovation Officer Dan Hoffman reports that employee salaries is the most popular dataset on the Data Montgomery website.

Read more

Wanted: Data Ideas (Video)

Victoria Lewia  Data Townhall

In this MyMCMedia extra, the project manager for Data Montgomery encourages residents to submit their ideas for consideration. You can submit your suggestions here: https://data.montgomerycountymd.gov/   Related posts:      

Read more

The Value of Open Data (Video)

Dan Hoffman Open Data Townhall   Business

In this MyMCMedia extra, Dan Hoffman, Montgomery County’s Chief Innovation Officer, explains the economic power and value of open data. Related posts:      

Read more

Open Data Idea (Video)

Dan Hoffman Data Townhall   school bus location data

In this MyMCMedia extra, Chief Innovation Officer Dan Hoffman tells us about an open data idea that involves tracking the county’s school buses. Take a look: Related posts:

Read more

Open Data Town Hall Meeting (Photos & Video)

datatownhall12

Will 2014 be the year of open data in Montgomery County? Sure looks that way. County officials held their second Open Data Town Hall meeting in Germantown on Jan. 28 where the emphasis was on finding out what kind of data residents want to see published online. MyMCMedia’s Sonya Burke reports. You can find out […]

Read more

County to Hold Second Open Data Town Hall in Germantown

open data event for slider

The County is looking to local residents for advice on what data they’d like to see available at their fingertips.  After the first Open Data Town Hall in December, officials decided to expand the program, hosting the second event at the Upcounty Regional Services Center in Germantown on Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. “The Open […]

Read more

County Releases Open Data Town Hall Results

open data event for slider

In order to prioritize new projects, Montgomery County asked its residents what information they’d like to see online at the first “Open Data Town Hall” on Nov. 21. The event brought dozens of people together to brainstorm and offer ideas on what’s next for the County’s data innovation program. “For being a bit of an […]

Read more
Like this post? Sign up for our Daily Update here.
Valerie Bonk

About Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media (MCM).

Comments

| No comments yet.



Engage us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter