In support of the City and County of Honolulu’s Open Data Initiative, Mayor Peter Carlisle issued this letter to his department and agency heads. Ever since taking office, Mayor Carlisle’s administration has leveraged technology to advance City operations and make government more efficient. In 2011 the City and County of Honolulu was recognized as the “Top Digital Cities in U.S. Recognized by Center for Digital Government”. Honolulu is also a Code for America city in 2012 with work being done by CfA fellows to build applications based on open data.
Earlier this year a team of community programmers developed two transportation apps, DaBus and Allb.us both based on open data provided by The Bus APIs (application programming interface). Just last week three more web applications were announced in partnership with Code for America: Art.Honolulu.Gov, Sirens.Honolulu.Gov and RouteView.Honolulu.Gov.
In his letter, Mayor Carlisle writes,
By freely sharing data amongst the citizens of the City & County of Honolulu, we hope to develop opportunities for economic development, civic engagement, and create a more informed citizen.
Historically, governments are very slow to change but with this administration there is a track record for positive innovations and community collaborations. Sites like Can-Do.Honolulu.Gov, the infrastructure reporting app Honolulu 311 and the soon to be launched data aggregation site are examples of this steady stream of innovation. This letter to department heads is a good show of support for open data but we as citizens need to continue the pressure and ask for data as well. What data do you want to see? Crime data, water data, expenditure data? Your voice is important in this conversation too.