smartercities:

Today, the City of Chicago expanded its open data efforts with an executive order by Mayor Emanuel.

“An open and transparent administration makes it easier for residents to hold their government accountable, but it also serves as a platform for innovative tools that improve the lives of all residents,” said Mayor Emanuel, in statement on the city website.

“Chicago’s vibrant technology and startup community will leverage this wealth of open, public data to create applications that will improve service delivery and lead to greater quality of service for residents and more public engagement in City government.”

The city released 21 new “high value” datasets today, including real-time traffic data from Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) buses, environmental data, liquor regulation, and recycling programs.

When asked what made these datasets high value, the Mayor’s Office responded via email.

“The datasets released today aren’t necessarily more critical than the more than 400 others that have been released,” wrote Caroline Weisser, a spokesperson for the Mayor’s Office. 

“They continue the commitment the administration has taken to being a leader in municipal open data. The executive order itself codifies the actions that Brett and John Tolva, the CTO, have taken over the past year and a half to pursue both open data policy and detailed analytics in tandem. Making a firm commitment to continue adding writable data to the dataportal about how the city works provides the raw materials for the City to collaborate and innovate with the developer community, which ultimately helps the City do a better job of serving Chicagoans.”

For more context on opening government, the Chicago way, read our feature from 2011 and more recent coverage of how Brett Goldstein, Chicago’s chief information officer and chief data officer, is using data in the public sector.

CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC.