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Connecting to state data using


Published on is a platform that helps journalists and citizens find data that's held offline by state and and local government agencies.

Published in: Technology, Education
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Connecting to state data using

  1. 1. David Herzog Reynolds Journalism Institute 2010-2011 Donald W. Reynolds Fellow @OpenMissouri
  2. 3. <ul><li>Inform  Missourians about public data held by government agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Inspire  journalists, citizens, web developers, entrepreneurs, businesses and non-profits to access and use public data in ways that enhance their civic, professional and personal lives </li></ul><ul><li>Serve  as a platform that connects people who are using data from state and local government agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Educate  Missourians about how they can access and use public data </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>U.S. government transparency </li></ul><ul><li>Culture of sharing </li></ul>
  4. 9. <ul><li>How do we use simple, freely available technology to connect people with state and local data? </li></ul>
  5. 11. <ul><li>Catalog: More than 250 data sets listed </li></ul><ul><li>Department listing: 20 state agencies </li></ul><ul><li>User community: 105 registered users </li></ul>
  6. 12. <ul><li>Sunshine request generator </li></ul><ul><li>Suggest a data set </li></ul><ul><li>Sample data </li></ul><ul><li>Commenting </li></ul><ul><li>Social-media sharing tools </li></ul>
  7. 13. <ul><li>Built in Rails, an open-source web framework </li></ul><ul><li>Other open-source or Web 2.0 components </li></ul><ul><ul><li>WordPress for blogging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MailChimp for email campaigns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disqus for commenting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AddThis social bookmarking </li></ul></ul>
  8. 14. <ul><li>Pilot with Spring 2010 computer-assisted reporting class </li></ul><ul><li>Two master’s graduate research assistants canvassed top-level state agencies 2010-2011 school year for offline database inventories </li></ul>
  9. 15. <ul><li>Agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Sunshine contact info </li></ul><ul><li>Data sets </li></ul>
  10. 16. <ul><li>Database name </li></ul><ul><li>Description </li></ul><ul><li>Format in which data is stored </li></ul><ul><li>Time span covered by data </li></ul><ul><li>Update frequency </li></ul><ul><li>Cost </li></ul>
  11. 17. <ul><li>Before posting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Verified all information about agencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reviewed information about databases </li></ul></ul><ul><li>After posting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sent links to agency staff after data sets listed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work in progress. Update as needed to maintain accuracy and timeliness </li></ul></ul>
  12. 18. <ul><li>Generate Sunshine request letters </li></ul><ul><li>Suggest data that we should add </li></ul>
  13. 21. <ul><li>Add cities and counties </li></ul><ul><li>Add links to data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Files </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Live feeds (XML, APIs) </li></ul></ul>
  14. 22. <ul><li>Made platform available open source </li></ul><ul><li>Initiatives in other state </li></ul><ul><li>Software as a service (SAAS) model </li></ul><ul><li>Exploring funding to grow </li></ul>
  15. 23. <ul><li>Contact David Herzog </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter: @davidherzog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter: @openmissouri </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(573) 882-2127 </li></ul></ul>