Launch of Cook County Data Web Site

Today I took part in the launch of the new data Web site for Cook County. Here’s a snip:

On Wednesday, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, joined by Cook County Board Commissioner John Fritchey and Cook County Chief Information Officer Greg Wass unveiled the County’s new “Open Data” website today.  The website is an important step in the President’s continued efforts to bring transparency and accountability to County government by making more information more easily accessible to the public.

Here’s their video of the event:

http://vimeo.com/29526579

The County asked me to write a short blog post on the history of open data in Chicago. Snip:

This is where it’s at– open data as a key component of other, essential policies and modes of interaction among governments and the people they serve. That’s why these efforts by Cook County– all done in the context of other data released by the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois– represent a great step forward. There is a nascent cohesiveness to open data in Chicago. Government policy, markets, consumer needs, and developers need to be in synch for us to go beyond mere data. Groups like OpenGovChicago– started and nurtured by many of the groups and people represented in this history– is one place where we gather to trade ideas. Join us!

Writing this post has been great for me because it got me in contact with colleagues who have been at this much longer than me. I am updating the post as I learn more about our rich history.