SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The City Council Tuesday unanimously passed a policy for open data that will make information about San Diego and the municipal government more readily available to the public.
Councilwoman Sherri Lightner said the policy -- designed to make things like databases, maps, graphs, lists, charts and tables available to residents online -- will spur economic development, make city operations more transparent and enable "participatory government."
The policy was developed by the city's Open Data Advisory Group, which is made up of representatives from San Diego's technology community, the city's Independent Budget Analyst and employees with the City Council offices of Mark Kersey and Lightner, among others.
The city's recently hired open data officer, Maksim Pecherskiy, told the council that city data is currently scattered, held within closed systems, and needs to be accessed via expensive proprietary software.
The idea is to consolidate the information so that it can be put into user-friendly forms, Pecherskiy said. He said an example of a benefit of the policy is that businesses will have data to evaluate when deciding where in the city to open new locations.
"This is something that really is going to have a big impact, not only on the local economy in terms of start-ups that are able to take advantage of this vast quantity of data that this city warehouses, but also potentially nonprofits, good-government groups, transparency advocates as well as the city itself -- internally," Kersey said.
While an initial inventory of data sets held by various departments could increase the workload on employees, the policy should ultimately ease workloads, increase efficiency and foster more collaboration between city employees, Kersey said.
Pecherskiy said the city could begin publishing the data by July 2016.
The plan was endorsed by two nonprofit groups -- Code for America and Open San Diego.
A fire that engulfed an El Cajon home killed the family's cat and caused about $350,000 worth of damage, authorities said Thursday.
In the aftermath of two major, deadly earthquakes striking our neighbors of Mexico, rescuers are working around the clock, searching for victims and assisting hundreds with recovery and relief. Please join the KFMB stations to help NOW.
Next time you're headed for the drive-thru to pick up your favorite fall-centric coffee drink, do yourself a favor and just keep on driving all the way to Julian.
A 55-year-old homeless man who suffered severe head injuries when he was beaten with a skateboard in North Park died Thursday after he was taken off life support, police said.
A wind advisory will go into effect Thursday in the mountains and deserts, with gusts up to 50 miles per hour in the forecast in some areas.
A local non-profit is aiming to keep the public aware of the urgent efforts and the all the steps the county has taken to contain further infections.
Disney’s under the sea sensation, “The Little Mermaid,” is swimming into the San Diego Civic Theater.
The City of San Diego will team up with American Medical Response and the Downtown San Diego Partnership Thursday to offer free hepatitis A vaccinations for at-risk populations, particularly the homeless.