published Friday, March 14th, 2014

Chattanooga proposes open data initiative

Chattanooga officials want to free the city's data from the traditional bureaucratic bonds of closed government and grant regular citizens open access to the huge amounts of information stored by city agencies, according to a draft resolution released Thursday.

According to the five-point plan, the city's information technology department soon could publish a list of all "city data sets," with orders to specify whether each has been opened to the public, "and if not, why."

Each city department will choose three "priority" sets of data in its possession to publish within six months of the city adopting the resolution, and a new website -- -- will serve as a portal for people to track down facts and figures maintained by the city, according to the draft resolution.

"The City of Chattanooga is committed to using technology to foster open, transparent, valuable, and accessible government," the resolution's authors wrote.

"By sharing data freely, the City of Chattanooga seeks to develop opportunities for economic development, commerce, increased investment and civic engagement."

The effort is part of the Code For America movement and a recent push by city officials to bring tech industry professionals into Chattanooga to help the city solve its problems through technology.

The proposed open data policy is available online, and people may propose changes to the policy before it goes before the City Council.

about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

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