Connecting state and local government leaders

California's Open Data Portal Goes Open Source for the Apps

California State Capitol

California State Capitol


Connecting state and local government leaders

The portal will be maintained by the state Office of Digital Innovation alongside its Innovation Lab--centralization that should bode well for future app development.

California’s Government Operations Agency relaunched its open data portal as open source Thursday, so civil coders and state departments might sustainably innovate on the new platform.

The state started piloting portals with and a coinciding codeathon in October, out of which emerged 14 open source applications posted on the online project hosting site GitHub.

Seeking to foster a collaborative software development culture and community in California, all seven separate, agency portals have been electronically centralized and more datasets added on a range of issues: buildings, grants and contracts, recycling, water, economy and demographics, and fleet and transportation.

“The state has unparalleled data resources,” said Marybel Batjer, GovOps secretary, in the announcement. “By relaunching our data portal in open source technology, we are publishing data in a way that allows any citizen of California to easily unlock its value.”

The portal, itself, is being moved under the Department of Technology’s Office of Digital Innovation’s purview along with the state’s Innovation Lab, which develops open source apps.

Centralization will make it easier to add more datasets to the portal and build and test apps leveraging the information they contain via the St. Paul, Minnesota-based digital communication company GovDelivery’s DKAN platform.

“This effort represents the next logical step in our open data work,” said Zachary Townsend, California chief data officer, in the announcement. “DKAN is not just an open source solution; it’s the best tool we’ve found to support our efforts to make the state’s data assets more accessible through visual, compelling stories.”

Dave Nyczepir is a New Editor at Government Executive's Route Fifty based in Washington D.C.

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