Navigator Award Finalist: Lillian Coral, Chief Data Officer, City of Los Angeles


Connecting state and local government leaders

Putting city services on the map, literally.

This is the 45th in a series of profiles on the 50 finalists for Route Fifty’s Navigator Awards program. The first 10 finalists were from the Government Allies and Cross-Sector Partners category. Finalists 11-20 were from the Agency and Department Leadership category. Finalists 21-30 were from the Executive Leadership category. Finalists 31-40 were from the Next Generation category. Finalists 41-50 are from the Data and IT Innovators category. Explore our complete list of 50 finalists.

The more navigable data is, the more actionable, which is why Los Angeles made a point of mapping its services to start 2016.

At its January launch, GeoHub was hailed by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti as the first-ever municipal location-as-a-service platform for real-time information and mapping. Not only has GeoHub expanded L.A. business intelligence, but it’s enhanced the ability of city employees, the public and private industry to visualize open data and performance.

L.A. Chief Data Officer Lillian Coral was the brains behind that seachange, according to a Navigator Award nomination submission for her:

[Coral] took several novel approaches to providing her city solutions, such as building upon a [preexisting] geographic information system (GIS) technology infrastructure; partnering with city technology vendors; uniting segmented departments across the city through communal access to information; and pushing out data [publicly] so that civilian and private developers could derive valuable insights in new ways.

Other jurisdictions can follow Coral’s example and replicate GeoHub, even if like L.A. they lack the pre-existing IT infrastructure, including an enterprise data sharing system. Coral repurposed existing technology and collaborated with Redlands, California-based GIS software company Esri on a data-sharing prototype. Esri’s team was treated as equal partners in the endeavor.

Development took six months, and the dynamic portal capacity continues to be increased—resulting in a scalable public GIS platform connecting the segmented data systems, many previously isolated, of more than 40 city departments. Data stems from the source and is published on a permission basis, rather than being copy-pasted into a portal.

To date, more than 1,400 content pieces like charts, tables, maps and 104 apps with more than 70,000 views have been created by city staff for GeoHub.

Examples include Street Wize, which notifies the public of road closures and other transportation impediments for better planning, and Clean Streets LA, a Bureau of Sanitation tool helping determine how it spends its nearly $1 billion budget on waste management and elsewhere.

Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington D.C.

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