Montgomery unlocks treasure trove of data
City releases an online resource offering residents a quick and easy way to explore civic data ranging from service request response time to permitting and street paving information
MONTGOMERY – From following the city’s fight against blight to accessing information on construction and development projects, an entire world of municipal data in Montgomery is now available with a few clicks.
The City of Montgomery today released Open Data Montgomery, a new web platform comprised of high-value data published in an engaging and open format available free to the public at data.montgomeryal.gov.
“This project encourages collaboration and empowers our residents, business owners and tech entrepreneurs to help us use this information to create an even better community,” Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said. “In addition to our apps, the Montgomery Internet Exchange (MIX), downtown Wi-Fi and an imminent tech corridor, the launch of Open Data Montgomery is another step to becoming one of the smartest cities in the Southeast and another way to attract and retain young talent in the River Region.”
The initial offerings on the platform include interactive maps, charts and graphs built on comprehensive datasets comprising demolitions, permits, inspections, 3-1-1 service requests, street paving and more. Like most digital resources, especially those providing real-time information, the portal is ever changing and will constantly evolve as the city releases new data from different departments as it becomes available in the required format.
City leaders partnered with Socrata beginning in late 2015 as Mayor Strange sought new ways to innovate government by increasing transparency and maximizing efficiency. Socrata, the cloud-based software-as-a-service data platform, is the market leader in making existing government data discoverable, usable, and actionable for public servants and the citizens they serve. Socrata unlocks government legacy systems' data silos to increase the effectiveness of programs that improve quality of life, economic development, and operations. Trusted by over 1,000 government organizations, Socrata supports cities—like Chattanooga and New York City—counties, states and federal agencies of all sizes."
Mayor Strange was inspired to partner with Socrata and implement an open data initiative by Netelysis founder and Montgomery tech guru, Boyd Stephens, who shared with him the new trend of ways governments use technology to innovate and better serve citizens Stephens continued to play a vital role in the Open Data Montgomery project by volunteering with the implementation team to help set standards specified by tech and entrepreneurial groups. With these specifications in place, Stephens and collaborators within the local tech community can now take the data and use it to do what they do best: build creative, digital solutions to revolutionize life in Montgomery.
Things are moving quickly. Stephens will host a free event at 6 p.m. today, the Hack MGM Bazaar, during which attendees will brainstorm ideas for their first projects based off of Open Data Montgomery.
For more information, visit data.montgomeryal.gov.