March 6, 2020 Update
The in-person Open Data Day event referenced below scheduled was cancelled by the hosts out of caution because of the coronavirus situation in the Bay Area. Code for San Francisco will be sharing the planned content for the event through alternative media.
Despite not seeing you in person, we still want to hear from you! Please fill out our brief open data users survey!
The blog post below is left in its original form below.
On February 3rd, the SFMTA approved the creation of passenger and commercial loading zones near 4th and 16th on the UCSF Campus in Mission Bay. This change allows drivers to pull away from the bike lane on 4th street and improves safety for cyclists. It also happens to be a success story empowered by open data!
Safe Lanes, a community-built application, was used to make the case to a UCSF facilities manager about the need for new loading zones and later used to justify the change to the SFMTA Board. Safe Lanes was built by Stephen Braitsch, and uses the Open311 API to collect data on blocked bike lanes and open data to provide insights and analysis on reports and citations.
In 2010, Tim O’Reilly introduced the concept of Government as a Platform. The Safe Lanes story embodies his notion of government as “a convener and an enabler rather than the first mover of civic action.” This doesn’t mean the government shouldn’t have a role in civic action, rather it means we should collaboratively build a government that works for the people, with the people, enabled by modern practices and tools. In this case, Stephen built an application that leveraged open APIs and data provided by San Francisco to inspire data-informed action that is in line with the City’s Vision Zero goals.
DataSF is proud to empower this kind of data use to improve decision-making and service delivery! And as this year marks 10 years of open data in San Francisco, we invite you to imagine the next 10 at this year’s Open Data Day. Your feedback will inform how we continuously improve so more people can benefit from our work.
International Open Data Day brings the civically-minded together
Every year we eagerly await the next International Open Data Day, a sort of holiday celebration for open government geeks and the civically minded :-) This year’s event is Saturday March 7th and is extra special for a handful of reasons:
it’s my first one as the City of San Francisco’s Chief Data Officer,
open data in San Francisco is now in its 10th year,
the theme is the US Census (the “mother of all open data”), and
you’ll have an opportunity to imagine the future of open data in San Francisco
Help us imagine the future of open data
While we’re excited about what we’ve done, we’re eager to envision and plan for the future of open data. On Open Data Day, we will be hosting a workshop to do this among the great talks and workshops on the Census!
We hope you’ll join us for the workshop and enjoy the other activities to raise awareness and inspire active engagement in this year’s Census. This includes a talk from our colleagues at the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs about the City’s efforts to make sure everyone counts as well as other workshops and activities.
We encourage participation from everyone regardless of technical or data experience. This day is really about civic engagement and we benefit from hearing from diverse perspectives and lived experiences.
Open Data Day will be at Code for America Headquarters at 927 Mission Street in San Francisco. You can RSVP Online.
And, if you can’t make it this year, we will miss you, but we invite your feedback on open data through a very short survey.
We look forward to your participation and launching the next 10 years of open data in San Francisco!