The city of Cincinnati, like many government institutions, collects a vast amount of data. But public access to that information has been limited or not user friendly.
Interim City Manager Scott Stiles has approved an administrative rule change to make it easier.
“The information that’s going to be shared belongs to all the citizens of Cincinnati,” Stiles said. “They own it, we want them to be able to use it in the best ways possible.”
His office will soon begin meeting with city departments to explain the new policy.
City officials said it's about transparency, accountability and accessibility. But they said steps are also in place to protect sensitive data.
Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld said innovators have been using data in other cities for some creative applications.
“Boston’s ‘Adopt a Hydrant’ program where citizens take responsibility for an individual fire hydrant,” Sittenfeld said. “So in the winter, they can get out there early and make sure that’s not covered in ice and snow and remains accessible for safety purposes.”
The goal is to make the data available to innovators and entrepreneurs who can use it to create applications to improve the quality of life for residents.