By Jude Allume, SYRACUSE, NY (NCC News) — Mayor Stephanie Miner’s open data policy has led to the launch of Datacuse, a website which makes data about city government operations open and accessible for the public. Users of the website will find information relating to water, city boundaries, housing and roads. More data will be added as time goes on.
Syracuse’s Chief Data Officer, Sam Edelstein, has been pushing the idea since he started working for the city two years ago with the majority of the work on developing the site and gathering of data happening in the last six months.
He says DataCuse will make Syracuse more transparent to its residents.
“We think that it makes sense to give people access to it. It helps to show what the city is up to everyday and the kind of work that the city does, but then it also lets people do their own analysis. So when the city reports that we’ve done this much of something, people can go and check and see well how does that relate to where my neighborhood is and how much of that have you done in my neighborhood” Said Edelstein.
Edelstein also says that DataCuse will be used to make improvements throughout the city more efficient. The data collected by the city and the information website visitors are viewing will help officials to better locate critical issues.
“We have approached this project very interested in how are we really seeing data relative to what people are demanding. We put out data first related to housing and infrastructure because that’s been a mayoral priority, but it’s also something that people in the city talk about a lot, the infrastructure that’s failing or housing stock that’s aging” Said Edelstein.
Users of the site can download data and use visual aids such as graphs and charts to understand the information more easily as opposed to only looking at spreadsheets. Users can also provide feedback of the site and submit projects they’ve developed using data from DataCuse.