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New York City Celebrates Open Data Week 2018

March 2, 2018

Tomorrow through March 10, more than 30 events for new yorkers to explore the use & power of NYC Open Data

NEW YORK—The de Blasio Administration today marked the start of NYC Open Data Week 2018, a week-long celebration to raise awareness of the City’s public data. Through March 10, New Yorkers are invited to experience more than 30 events, exhibits, panels, and workshops across the city that explore how NYC Open Data is being leveraged by New Yorkers. Events include a data art exhibition, a demo of a new platform to identify risk to affordable housing in Brooklyn, a tour of a data exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, workshops for student entrepreneurs on how to use open data to build their business, and more. The full schedule is available here. The City’s Open Data Portal, visited 75,000 times each month on average, allows New Yorkers to access nearly 2,000 free municipal datasets, ranging from 311 complaints to crime incidents by neighborhood to the location of every street tree in the city.

“A fair city is an open city. NYC Open Data puts the data we use to make decisions in government back in the hands of all New Yorkers. Every day, New Yorkers in all five boroughs use open data to improve their communities,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Open Data Week is about highlighting those stories and giving all New Yorkers inspiration to make a difference.”

“The NYC Open Data Portal is a powerful tool that ensures transparency and fosters civic innovation within our City to help improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers,” said Samir Saini, Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications.

“While New York City has impressive open data stats to boast: nearly 2,000 published data assets and 20,000 visitors to the site per week on average - much of its value happens behind the scenes in making our government more data-driven,” said Emily W. Newman, Acting Director of the Mayor's Office of Operations. “Congratulations to the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics and DoITT--they make it possible for NYC Open Data to engage dozens of City agencies and City-affiliated organizations. Open Data is transforming the way our City thinks about data-sharing and the power of analytics to drive change for New Yorkers.”

“Since committing to Open Data for All in 2015, we have dismissed the idea ‘If you build it they will come’ and taken efforts to engage more New Yorkers than ever in the data created by their City,” said Adrienne Schmoeker, Director of Civic Engagement & Strategy at the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics. “We are thrilled to celebrate Open Data Week with all our partners who make transparent government possible.”

Highlights of Open Data Week include:

  • Staten Island (Saturday, March 10): Our Stories: The Soul of Data is organized by First Star College of Staten Island (CSI) Academy with the Administration of Children’s Services; the free four-hour workshop will empower 20+ foster youth with the tools to find and use NYC Open Data. 
  • Manhattan (Saturday March 10): Open Data L-Train Innovation Challenge is a day-long event organized by Forum for the Future, Collectively and Grand Central Tech calling designers and civic technologists for a day of problem-solving. 
  • Brooklyn (Thursday, March 8): Identify Affordable Housing Risks with Data at Brooklyn Borough Hall will unveil a new web portal to host housing data from multiple sources, allowing organizations to share, validate, and bolster their findings and research to show trends and threats to affordable housing in Brooklyn. Hosted by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and OpenGov.

In celebration of International Open Data Day on March 3, the City is launching the Open Data Project Gallery which shows 5 examples of how data has been used to address urban problems. This new feature was inspired by Open Data Week 2017, designed and prototyped by the NYC firm Fahrenheit 212 and developed by the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Gov Lab & Studio. The City is also offering a chance for New Yorkers and international users to enter their own projects into the running for the following awards, which will be judged by a panel of experts from the City, WNYC, SAVI at the Pratt Institute, NYC Tech Alliance, and Brooklyn:

  • Mayor's Civics Award
  • Data Science Award
  • Open Data Award
  • Most Creative Award
  • NYC Innovator Award

The contest officially launches on March 3 and runs through May 1, see the Open Data Website for more details:

“Data was born to be free, and NYC's Open Data program ensures it lives that way” said Miguel Gamiño, Jr., New York City Chief Technology Officer. “Democratization of data makes it possible for any entrepreneur and startup to access one of the most valuable ingredients for building technologies that serve the public and make technology work for all people.”

“TLC is proud to celebrate Open Data Week and the sixth anniversary of the City’s Open Data Law!” said TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi. “Since the law passed in 2012, there has been massive growth in the for-hire industries in NYC, and TLC has expanded data reporting requirements to understand the effects of this growth and to better regulate services, making much of this granular trip data available to the public. TLC goes beyond the law’s requirements and has identified new metrics that are most useful for the public in understanding how taxis, app-based services, and traditional for-hire services operate in NYC, allowing the public to see firsthand the growth and its effects, no matter a person’s technical skills with data.”

“With NYC Open Data Week, the City has created a unique opportunity for New Yorkers to step into the world of data,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services. “Not only is the City opening up data for all but, given the upward mobility that data careers offer, we’re providing free skills training and job connection to open up opportunity for New Yorkers in an increasingly tech-driven economy.”

"NYC Service is thrilled to engage our Youth Leadership Councils in Open Data Week," said NYC Chief Service Officer Paula Gavin. "Community data is a foundation for civic engagement and the Open Data platform is an important tool that encourages our City's youth to better understand their neighborhoods in new ways, allowing them access to information that can be used to improve policy and practice in all five boroughs."

“Our Open Data Law has given rise to a dazzling constellation of new apps, research projects, and even businesses aimed at improving New Yorkers’ lives through the creative use of public datasets,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Happy Open Data Week to all the civic hackers out there building things with public data, and thank you to the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics, DoITT, DoRIS, and the public servants at every city agency working to put government data to work for the people we serve.”

“I believe nearly every sector of our municipal government would be enhanced by a better utilization and activation of civic data, through real-time monitoring, enhanced public accountability, and dynamic agency response. My administration will continue to champion technological advances like these that improve the City’s ability to dig into the crevices of persistent challenges facing New Yorkers. I’m pleased that Brooklyn Borough Hall is part of Open Data Week, and I thank the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics for organizing this important initiative,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams.

Council Member Peter Koo, Chair of the Committee on Technology said, “Open Data Week demonstrates NYC’s commitment to a transparent, accountable and less-cynical government that takes pride in giving people access to information. Today, accessible data is being used by everyone from students to professionals in an effort to influence policy and change in their communities, so it is with great excitement that we ask for this year’s participants to step up their game, and take full advantage of this tremendous opportunity to create new innovations with NYC’s data, and to create a better city for everyone.”

“New York City's Open Data policy puts us at the forefront of giving residents the information they need to make a difference,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Since its implementation, the Open Data Portal has bred countless new laws, apps, and other solutions to improve access to city services for all New Yorkers. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio for leading the way on Open Data for All and using Open Data Week to highlight new innovative ways of presenting public information to empower all New Yorkers.”

The City of New York passed the Open Data Law in 2012. Since then, every City agency has contributed datasets to the portal, with more being added every year. In 2015, Mayor de Blasio introduced Open Data for All, a vision to maximize New Yorkers’ engagement with City data. The Portal was subsequently relaunched in 2017 with a more user-friendly design allowing novices and experienced data researchers alike to find and use the valuable information it offers. Since relaunch, the Open Data Portal has seen record use, recording more than 75,000 average visitors per month. The Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA) and the City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) partner to form the Open Data team.

Open Data Week was inspired, and is supported by, BetaNYC, a civic tech organization based in New York City. They are the organizers of two Open Data Week events, School of Data and Unlocking Open Data for Community Boards with the Manhattan Borough President’s Office.

“After 6 years and 7 additional laws, New York City has nearly 2,000 public data assets from more than 50 different municipal publishers - truly the world's greatest open data program. All worthwhile work takes time, energy and determination - while the road hasn't been easy it has been worth it! It is a pleasure to be a part of the NYC Open Data community and an honor to kick off the second NYC Open Data Week,” said Noel Hidalgo, Executive Director of BetaNYC. “The BetaNYC community is looking forward to an amazing week of storytelling and workshops. We are fortunate to have an Administration, Council, community groups, and individuals who are will to dive beyond the data points and collaborate to make this City work for all of us. The BetaNYC community looks forward to a fantastic Open Data Week. We hope to see all of you at NYC's community data conference.”

“Once again New York is leading the tech industry by demonstrating that open data serves the public interest and spurs innovation in both government and private endeavors,” said Andrew Rasiej, Chairman of the NY Tech Alliance and CEO of Civic Hall. “Now Six Years after New York City’s landmark open data law was passed Open Data Week confirms that both government and citizens are using information that makes government more effective and accountable to the citizens it serves.”

“Allowing New York's innovators access to the wealth of data collected by NYC agencies creates opportunities for startups, large companies, and technologists everywhere. It gives our entrepreneurs the chance to not only solve public-facing problems, but also the tools to build businesses that matter,” said Julie Samuels, Executive Director, Tech:NYC.

“Six years ago, New York City put a plan in motion to leverage its data as a strategic asset. We at Socrata have been fortunate to be part of that journey, helping to make that data not just open but also accessible and usable to all. New York City has created an ecosystem that fosters startups and economic activity around the city, makes the city government more accountable, supports a vibrant civic community, and improves the daily digital experience of New Yorkers. The success of their program is a blueprint that so many other cities are emulating,” said Kevin Merritt, CEO, Socrata.

“The Museum of the City of New York is thrilled to celebrate Open Data Week by offering curator led tours of our data driven interactive gallery exploring the future of New York City. The Future City Lab, part of our signature New York at Its Core exhibition and home to the world’s largest visual display of data about the city, is made possible only by New York City’s commitment to open data and embodies the idea that meeting the challenges of the future requires access to information in the present. We are thrilled to open our doors to all those who are as excited as we are about Open Data Week.” said Whitney Donhauser, Ronay Menschel Director of the Museum of the City of New York.

“New York City has set a gold standard for public access to data through initiatives like Open Data for All, the Open Data Portal, and Open Data Week. At Rentlogic, we support the administration's commitment to making data easy to understand, using it to improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers, and leveraging it to bring fairness and equity to our City's housing market,” said Rentlogic CEO, Yale Fox. “Choosing where to live is one of the biggest decisions a person makes, and we're proud that Rentlogic has brought transparency to a difficult process in a simple, user-friendly platform for the public good.”

“At Forum for the Future, we design open and collaborative strategies for a more sustainable world, and being part of New York City Open Data Week amplifies our ability to do this. Together with the Department of Transportation, Dell, Grand Central Tech, and other partners, we are organizing a hackathon that is bringing the public and private sectors together to collaborate around the L-train shutdown sustainability implications for the city. We are thrilled to be working with the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics and other organizations that are committed to using and sharing open data to create positive impact. We are grateful for all of the work and support of the NYC Open Data Team to make our innovation challenge and NYC Open Data Week possible,” said Rodrigo Bautista, Principal Change Designer at Forum for the Future.

“Fahrenheit 212 is proud to have partnered with the City of New York and the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics on NYC Open Data. As part of our commitment to using innovation for civic and social benefit, we consider NYC Open Data an invaluable resource and fuel for innovation to improve the lives of our neighbors, communities and local businesses. We share in the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics’ goal to accelerate New York City’s innovation engine. Partnering with NYC Open Data has been a great way for us to contribute to that mission.” Todd Rovak, CEO of Fahrenheit 212.

Most Open Data Week events are free of charge and open to the public. Visit for details and event schedules.

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