8 Ways To Open Up Civic Data So That People Actually Use It

Ariel Schwartz | Co.Exist | June 24, 2013

The Knight Foundation just gave $3.2 million to organizations that are making public data more useful. These are our favorites.

Government has been one of the slowest sectors to embrace the Internet and open data, but it’s starting to happen. Incubators like Code for America are teaching entrepreneurs to develop civic-minded apps. And city governments in places like Chicago and San Francisco are warming up to open data standards. This week, the Knight Foundation announced the eight winners of the $3.2 million Knight News Challenge on Open Gov, a competition that asked entrants to design ways to make public data more helpful.

One of the most exciting projects is Open Gov for the Rest of Us, a project that gives residents of low-income Chicago neighborhoods the tools to ask for better data about foreclosure, immigration, crime, and schools. This isn’t just an app--it’s an entire engagement campaign for low-income parts of the city.