In April of 2012, Mayor Michael Nutter formalized the City’s open data and government transparency efforts with the signing of Executive Order 1-12. A key component of the Mayor’s order was the creation of an Open Data Working Group – a collection of representatives from across city departments that can collaborate on the best ways to promote open data and transparency within city government.
“The Working Group will…provide a forum to develop innovative ideas for promoting open government goals, including collaborations with researchers, the private sector, and the public, and for developing resolutions to issues raised through the public feedback mechanisms of the Open Government Portal.”
One of the efforts taken up under the auspices of the Working Group was the development of a guidebook for agencies that want to release open data. The purpose of this document is to provide practical guidance to city departments, to guide them through the process of identifying, reviewing, releasing and maintaining open data sets. After several weeks of internal review and development, we are releasing this guidebook for public review.
While this document is meant to be internally facing, providing information to inform the actions of our departments, there is value in sharing this document with the public. In addition, we believe that there may be benefit to be gained from sharing this document with other cities and governments that are contemplating starting an open data program of their own.
As with other documents released as part of the City of Philadelphia’s open data efforts, we are explicitly verisoning this document and will be releasing successive iterations as it continues to be developed and refined by our agencies and departments.