(Just Over) One Year Later: Philly's Open Data Policy

Laurenellen McCann, Alisha Green and Solay Howell | Sunlight Foundation | August 19, 2013

Just over a year ago, Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania signed an executive order creating an open data policy for the city. That order called for Philly to take some big steps: from expanding the amount of public information it makes available in open formats to hiring a Chief Data Officer to help city agencies open up their data. But how do these policy provisions play out in real life?

The story of policy-turned-reality will always be complicated and difficult to fully assess in the moment, but we thought it would be interesting to talk with some locals to get their perspective on how things have changed in the last year. Many of the people we spoke with, including Chief Data Officer Mark Headd and civic hackers (and journos) like Pam Selle, Casey Thomas, Chris Alfano, and Mjumbe Poe, reflected on how the new policy has helped them focus on doing innovative things with city data, a note that we also heard when we visited Philly in April 2013 as part of our local program. You can hear more reflections from Philadelphians in the video below.