'Open Data' - What can it do for Cleveland and Cuyahoga County?
You may have heard the term 'open data' recently- all throughout the nation organizations and citizens are figuring out how to use data and information to improve government services and the daily lives of residents. This can mean anything from phone apps that track the locations of snowplows (Chicago) to making data about government contracts and spending available (Ohio's checkbook).
This brown bag lunch session will give an introductory overview of open data in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County.
Jill Miller Zimon is the co-founder and executive director of OpenNEO, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a robust ecosystem of data sharing between government, nonprofits, businesses, academic institutions, and citizens in Northeast Ohio. Zimon has a joint degree in law and social work from Case Western Reserve University and a double degree in government and sociology from Georgetown University. At this months forum, Zimon gave an introduction to open data, what it means for governments and residents, different ways its being implemented across the nation, and what it could mean for Northeast Ohio.
Frank Ford, is the Senior Policy Advisor for Thriving Communities Institute, an initiative of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy. Ford provided an overview of the Ohio Public Records statute and what it means for individuals and civic organizations seeking access to public data.
April Urban, M.S.S.A from Case Western Reserve University, is a research assistant at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development at Case Western Reserve University. Urban specializes in property research and consultation, focuses on code enforcement, foreclosure and REO properties and works closely with the community development industry to provide data and technical assistance in neighborhood stabilization. She feels most productive when she can work to aid communities in building their capacity to work with data, helping teach them how to use information to improve their practices and better the lives of people impacted by their work. Urban presented applications and site where open data is currently being used in Northeast Ohio, including the NEO CANDO information system.
Carter Wang is a graduate of MIT in Statistics and is a Research Assistant at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development at Case Western Reserve University. Wang creates visualizations and applies statistical and machine learning to data on property and children in Cleveland to make interactive maps. Examples of data he uses for his visualizations include tax lien sales, changes in SNAP recipients, predictive model of vacancy at the parcel level. At the forum, Wang gave an introduction to the civic-hacking sphere: organizations and volunteers that use technology for social good.