Connecting state and local government leaders
"Open data has a tremendous ability to break down barriers and empower communities,” according to Mayor Andy Berke.
In civic tech circles, Chattanooga, Tennessee, has been known as a pioneering city when it comes to building the Western Hemisphere’s first 10-gigabit-per-second fiber network accessible to every home and business in the city.
But Tennessee’s fourth most-populous city has also been known for being an early municipal leader in open data, thanks in part to strong local partnerships fostered by an innovative public library, which hosts the city’s open data portal through a partnership with city hall and the Open Chattanooga Brigade.
This week, Chattanooga launched its new map-based open data exploration tool called City Insider that can be used by the public, civic stakeholders, local officials and municipal employees to gain insights and make smarter decisions from the data city agencies and other entities collect.
"Open data has a tremendous ability to break down barriers and empower communities, which we can encourage by using a format that makes sense for neighborhoods—in the case of City Insider, the data is presented in a searchable map," Mayor Andy Berke said in a statement.
Included in City Insider is the ability to display 3-1-1 call-center requests and neighborhood crime data in a heat map—pictured here is the concentration of incidents involving drunkenness along Broad Street in downtown Chattanooga near the Tennessee Aquarium and bars.
New data sets will be added to City Insider.
“The City Insider will be an asset to individuals and neighborhood associations in Chattanooga who want info about crime, 3-1-1 reports, etc.,” Gwenda Gregory of the Lake Hills Neighborhood Association said, according to the Chattanoogan. “Questions that are often asked at neighborhood association meetings can be answered quickly and accurately using this webpage. Being able to print this data is a plus.”
Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.