July 15, 2015
Strategy includes five-borough tour to make Open Data more accessible to all New Yorkers
Launch of ‘Data Lens’ tool makes data easier to visualize – even for those with no programming experience
NEW YORK—The de Blasio administration today released Open Data for All, the annual update to the NYC Open Data Plan which this year is paired with a vision for engaging New Yorkers across the five boroughs in the City’s open data efforts through increased community partnership and interaction. Today’s plan was released by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Commissioner Anne Roest, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Operations Mindy Tarlow, and Chief Analytics Officer Dr. Amen Ra Mashariki.
As required by Local Law 11 of 2012, each City entity must identify and ultimately publish all of its digital public data for citywide aggregation and publication by 2018. Every year on July 15, the NYC Open Data Plan provides an update of the City’s progress by listing pertinent City-managed public data sets yet to be published along with their anticipated publication dates.
This year, for the first time, Open Data for Allexpands the City’s focus to making data sets released through the Open Data Portal more accessible, useful, and user-friendly for all New Yorkers. While recognizing the importance of continuing to make new data available, this year’s Open Data Plan includes an introduction that outlines the City’s vision for ensuring that the availability of open data serves as an invitation to anyone, anywhere, anytime to engage with New York City. Beginning this summer, MODA and DoITT will be conducting a Citywide Engagement Tour – giving all New Yorkers opportunities to ask questions, provide feedback, and learn more about Open Data for All. This series of events will also be an opportunity for the City to collect feedback and use New Yorkers’ input to make its open data better and more accessible.
To complement this expanded focus on accessibility, the City is also launching a pilot implementation of Data Lens, an easy-to-use tool that produces several visualizations of certain data sets and requires no programming experience whatsoever – making it even easier for any New Yorker to understand the data available on the portal. With the click of a button, Data Lens will instantly render several visualizations of a data set and the various metrics it contains. The tool employs unique “cards,” or display formats, allowing users to more easily understand the insights behind the numbers. Data Lens will initially be available for five data sets: Universal Pre-k Locations, Restaurant Locations, NYC311 Service Requests, NYPD Motor Vehicle Collisions, and WiFi Hotspot Locations.
“Our city’s open data laws are already unprecedented in reach and scope – but Open Data for All marks the start of a new era. The Open Data Portal will now be a more collaborative, dynamic project that is more accessible for all New Yorkers, and the upcoming engagement tour will help us tailor the implementation of the Open Data Plan to the needs of people across the five boroughs. All of this means it will be easier for people, even those with no programming experience – like myself – to find the information they want, and better ways to utilize that information,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“Providing open data that is truly accessible to all will enhance and improvement government for everyone in New York City,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “This next step in opening data to the public reflects this city’s commitment to transparency and openness. I thank the de Blasio administration for their continued partnership in making open data a reality and bringing New York fully into the 21st century.”
“New York City’s Open Data Law – the most comprehensive legislation of its kind in the country – was born of collaboration with the City Council and civic technology community; it will be taken to the next level by collaboration with all communities” said DoITT Commissioner Anne Roest. “City data belongs to the New Yorkers we serve, and hearing from them about how we can make it work better still is at the heart of our efforts. I thank Operations Director Tarlow and Chief Analytics Officer Mashariki for their partnership in shaping open data into Open Data for All.”
“Citywide initiatives like Vision Zero, UPK, Small Business First and OneNYC require citywide coordination. Open Data is a key tool for data-sharing between agencies, and can help us realize NYC’s on-going commitment to transparency and performance management,” said Director of the Mayor’s Office of Operations Mindy Tarlow.
“Open Data is more than just releasing data. It is ensuring that people – everyone – can use the data. We want Open Data to be a verb, not a noun,” said Chief Analytics Officer Dr. Amen Ra Mashariki. “MODA is looking forward to getting out and talking to New Yorkers.”
The 2015 NYC Open Data Plan, including the full list of data sets scheduled for release, can be accessed here or through the interactive dashboard on the NYC Open Data Portal. Data sets available for the Data Lens pilot can be found here.
Guiding the implementation of Open Data for All are the complementary notions that every New Yorker can benefit from open data, and that open data can benefit from the input of every New Yorker. The de Blasio administration is determined to make Open Data for All exactly that – an incredible tool and resource that is both accessible and useful for all New Yorkers.
To achieve this vision, the administration will be:
Datasets available for the first time this year include:
Datasets scheduled to be made available by the end of the year include:
“I am excited to partner with my colleagues in government to bring in an era of unprecedented public engagement when it comes to Open Data,” said Council Member James Vacca, Chair of Committee on Technology. “Open Data affords New Yorkers with such a wealth of information, and users of all levels of technological expertise should be able to easily access it. This year’s Open Data Plan not only provides new information that New Yorkers care about, like UPK and taxi trip data, but the plan also includes a five-borough strategy to ensure that New Yorkers can use it in a meaningful way. I look forward to examining this plan closer with input from the public, and I thank the Administration for their continued commitment to Open Data.”
“New York City's Open Data Law continues to be the strongest open data legal policy ever adopted by a municipality. This year's update shows that NYC will continue to lead the nation in transparency and data-driven governance,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, sponsor of Local Law 11 of 2012, the NYC Open Data Law. “As we move toward Open Data 2.0, I look forward to working with stakeholders such as our Community Boards to offer training on open data utilization for local planning, and with the Mayor's Office and local leaders to ensure that the promise of Open Data is realized for all New Yorkers who can benefit from it.”
"Open data unlocks the potential of real civic change, which for years was inaccessible to everyday New Yorkers because they lacked the key to access critical information. By putting more government datasets in the public sphere, datasets that are up-to-date and easy to access, we increase transparency and engagement in a way that can lead to forward-thinking solutions and positive community activism,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “I am a big believer in the power of open data to inform and be informed by my constituents, evidenced by its growing use on the relaunch of brooklyn-usa.org. I look forward to expanding my collaboration with the de Blasio administration on maximizing open data's utility for all Brooklynites, no matter how tech savvy they may be."
“Open Data for All is the next step towards a digitally inclusive city and an engaged citzenry. Having data for a few people to work with is good, but actively promoting it as useful to all New Yorkers is great,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “I am excited to see the information on crucial city initiatives like UPK and Vision Zero, as well as the City Record, which soon be fully online following the passage of my legislation. A smarter city is a city that works better for all New Yorkers, no matter neighborhood or background.”
“Cheers to Mayor de Blasio and DoITT for another step forward, and understanding that open data – like Information Technology – is about continuously evolving in response to public feedback and new opportunities,” said John Kaehny, Co-Chair of NYC Transparency Working Group.
New York City’s Open Data Law – Local Law 11 of 2012 – requires City agencies to systematically categorize and make accessible in “open” formats their public data sets at no charge. Today’s announcement marks the second annual update, as required by the law, to the original NYC Open Data Plan issued in September 2013 and updated last July. The next annual update comes in July 2016, when the City will detail its progress since the 2015 report.