Chicago has launched a first of its kind website and mobile app that uses open data to enable residents to access data tailored to their location and needs.
The OpenGrid mapping application enables citizens to see what city services are delivered on their block, nearby street closures, city activities happening in their communities.
A unique feature of OpenGrid is that is allows and encourages communities to add their own data, and for developers to enhance the app’s capabilities.
“Chicago is a leader in using open data to better serve its residents,” announced Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “OpenGrid is the next step in making open data accessible to Chicagoans, and it is part of our ongoing commitment to transparency and innovation in city government.”
Over the past four years, Chicago been a leader in publishing open data, leveraging the City of Chicago’s Data Portal to make city data available to all residents. There are currently more than 560 datasets were hosted on Chicago’s data portal, with 2.7 terabytes of data being accessed in December 2015 alone.
“One of the biggest challenges cities face with opening up data is making it usable, accessible, and relevant in the lives of their citizens. OpenGrid represents an exciting step forward for Chicago and the field – very much embodying the type of innovation we hope emerges from the Mayors Challenge,” said James Anderson, head of Government Innovation at Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Chicago’s open data push has spurred the development of a number of innovative applications, such as:
- Wasmycartowed.com – lets users look up their car by license plate, make, or model and find out if it has been towed or relocated
- SweepAround.us – allows users to find out when their street will be swept next, and provides text, email and calendar alerts.
- Chicago Works – enables residents to make service requests and track issues
- MindMyBusiness – provides alerts to small business on construction, traffic, service requests, inspections, and other data to inform business decisions, save money and create opportunities
OpenGrid is an open source project, meaning its code and documentation is available to other cities to enable them to replicate OpenGrid for their own city with their own data.