This video by CA Fwd shows how an open data policy, when done right, can lead to opportunities for tech entrepreneurs and another avenue for economic development for governments.
Civic entrepreneur Yo Yoshida, whose company was born from data sets released by City of San Francisco, describes how the collaboration started. Appalicious helped create, along with the Mayor’s Office and and the Department of Public Health, the app Neighborhood Score which gathers data from the City to give a block-by-block health and safety rating to every neighborhood.
“There are over 500 major civic startups that I consider established and cleared the 3-year mark,” said Yoshida on an open data panel featured this year at the Economic Summit’s Capitol Day. “For the startup world that’s pretty significant. There’s at least 500 and it’s growing into the thousands, the smaller ones that have taken our lead and it’s becoming an economic growth opportunity that has never been there before and this is all brand new business.”
Not only does open data represent new business, the benefits for the business world include reducing the cost of converting raw data and having more up-to-date and accurate information to make decisions with. The challenges for cities are standardizing that raw data and choosing which data sets to spend the time and money on to convert and distribute.
Yoshida and many other civic entreprenuers have participated in CA Fwd’s continuing open data roadshowmaking its way across the state to talk about the economic and good-government case for cities, counties and the state to get their data standardized and readily available. The next event takes place in Long Beach this Wednesday when we’ll be talking to Mayor Robert Garcia and the City of L.A.’s first chief data officer, Abhi Nemani.