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Committee Report - Int. 0991-2009

Committee Report - Int. 0991-2009

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Published by: NYC Council Tech in Govn't Committee on May 28, 2010
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05/28/2010

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Staff:Committee on Technology in GovernmentJeffrey Baker, CounselColleen Pagter, Policy Analyst
THE COUNCIL
Briefing Paper of the Governmental Affairs and Infrastructure Divisions
Robert Newman, Legislative Director 
COMMITTEE ON TECHNOLOGY IN GOVERNMENT
Hon. Gale A. Brewer, Chair 
 June 29, 2009
Int. No. 991:
By Council Members Brewer, Lappin, Gonzalez, James, Liu and White,Jr.
Title:
A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, inrelation to creating open data standards.
Administrative Code:
Amends Title 23 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York by adding anew chapter 3.
 
1. I
NTRODUCTION
On Monday, June 29, the Committee on Technology in Government, chaired byCouncil Member Gale A. Brewer will hold a hearing on Int. No. 991. Int. No. 911creates an open data policy for the City of New York.
2. O
PEN
G
OVERNMENT
D
ATA
Open government data is the concept that the publicly accessible data generated by the public sector should be available to the public electronically via the Internet in“open raw formats.”
1
“Open,” refers to the use of non-proprietary software or systemsused to encode the data. For example, XML (extensible markup language) is a non- proprietary language used to aid information systems in sharing structured data,especially via the Internet.
2
XML is available to anyone, and information that is stored inan XML format is accessible by anyone. “Raw,” refers to data that has not been processed. For example, the demographic data collected by the United States CensusBureau would be raw, but the reports generated by the United States Census Bureauanalyzing such data would be, by comparison “cooked.”Adopting open government data standards would promote inclusion of moreindividuals into the governmental process by making access to information easy andaffordable; it would promote transparency and accountability by providing data in its rawform, enabling members of the public to perform their own data analysis and draw their own conclusions; and it permits deeper and more varied analysis of government data by
1
Improving Access to Government through Better Use of the Web, W3C, 10 March 2009.
2
Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 (Fourth Edition), W3C, 16 August 2006, edited 29 September 2006.
2
 
enabling two or more data sets to be integrated together (commonly known as a“mashup”), often by aggregating data and displaying the information visually on a map.For example, housingmaps.com is a mashup that integrates GoogleMaps with housinglistings obtained from Craigslist to visually represent the available housing in a citywithin a user selected price range.The ingenuity of the public to create data mashups is limited only by theavailability of useful data. In November, 2008, the District of Columbia Chief Technology Officer (CTO) announced the Applications for Democracy program whereby private citizens compete for $50,000 in total prize money by creating mashups that utilizeany of the 200 data feeds available through the office of the CTO website.
3
Within thirtydays, the Office of the CTO received 47 completed applications valued at $2,300,000.
4
Applications included a carpool matchmaker, and a real time alert notification that wouldsend alerts (crime reports, building permits, etc.) based on a user’s location if they have aGPS-enabled device. The program was so successful, that the District of Columbia Chief Technology Officer is currently sponsoring a Round 2.
5
On December 8, 2007, a group of 30 open government advocates developed eight principles that define open government data.
6
While these principles are not binding,they are instructive. They are as follows:1.Complete – All public data is made available. Public data is data that is notsubject to valid privacy, security or privilege limitations.
3
47 Applications in 30 Days for $50K, Government Technology, November 13, 2008.
4
http://www.appsfordemocracy.org/
5
Id.
6
http://resource.org/8_principles.html
3

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