Azavea Launches OpenDataPhilly, a First-of-a-Kind Philadelphia-Centric Catalog of Online Data, Applications and APIs

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Over 100 Datasets now available to drive and encourage innovative use of data

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Azavea, a geospatial analysis (GIS) software development company announces the launch of OpenDataPhilly.org, a first-of-a-kind Philadelphia-centric catalog of online data, applications and APIs. OpenDataPhilly.org was officially unveiled today at 12-noon as part of Philly Tech Week, a week-long celebration of technology and innovation in Philadelphia, organized by Technically Philly.

While a multitude of government agencies, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions throughout the Philadelphia region have assembled data pertaining to their activities and the communities they serve, these datasets exist in disparate formats and locations. For people interested in using this data, the search can be like finding a needle in a haystack. OpenDataPhilly.org aims to connect people with data by listing the location of these datasets in a single online catalog and, in the process, expand the number of people and organizations that are using data to asking interesting questions.

With this initial version of the database, Azavea has assembled a catalog over 100 datasets from organizations as varied as the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Records, Streets Department, Police Department, the U.S Geological Survey, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Temple University, University of Pennsylvania, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, to name a few. Information about zoning, mortgages and deeds, campaign finance records, polling places, locations of schools and libraries, bicycle networks, crime, and many other metrics are part of the OpenDataPhilly catalog. The project team at Azavea will continue to curate the catalog until a permanent home can be found. The site will also enable the public and agencies to submit datasets, and a suggestion system will enable users to request datasets that do not currently exist and vote on their favorites.

“Raw data is not meaningful on its own. With OpenDataPhilly, we want to encourage the technology community in Philadelphia to transform rows of text, numbers and shapes into applications and visualizations that inform the public about our region’s well-being, inspire action, and contribute to a more dynamic community,” says Robert Cheetham, President and CEO of Azavea.

The OpenDataPhilly project is the result of a collaborative effort between Technically Philly, WHYY, the City of Philadelphia’s Open Access Philly task force, and Azavea. The project team is committed to four important goals:

  •     Improve access to data in Philadelphia
  •     Increase government transparency and accountability
  •     Drive and encourage innovative use of the data

For more information about OpenDataPhilly.org, visit http://www.opendataphilly.org

About Azavea
Azavea is an award-winning geospatial analysis (GIS) software development firm specializing in the creation of location-based web and mobile software as well as geospatial analysis services. Azavea is a certified B Corporation that applies geographic data and technology to promote the emergence of more dynamic, vibrant, and sustainable communities. Each of Azavea’s projects, products and pro bono engagements showcases this commitment. For more information, visit http://www.azavea.com.

If you would like more information about Azavea or to schedule an interview with Robert Cheetham, Azavea CEO and President, please contact Claire Connelly at (215) 701–7715 or e-mail cconnelly(at)azavea(dot)com.

About Technically Philly
Technically Philly is a news site that covers the community of people who use technology in Philadelphia, with a focus on startups, venture capital, digital divide and city IT policy. Technically Philly launched Feb. 9, 2009 and is published by Technically Media Inc., which was founded by Sean Blanda, Brian James Kirk and Christopher Wink. Find more at http://technicallyphilly.com/.

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Claire Connelly
Azavea
(215) 701-7715
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