SANTA MONICA—On June 9, the City of Santa Monica won a Technology Solutions award from the Public Technology Institute for its Open Data Initiative.
The annual PTI Technology Solutions Awards recognize excellence in local governments’ use of technology to, in their own words, “solve specific problems, improve community services and internal operations, and reduce costs.” This year, Santa Monica’s Open Data Initiative, with its mission statement of “Transparency, Collaboration and Third Party Applications Through Open Data,” was honored in the category of Data & Performance Metrics.
The City’s datasets can be found at the Santa Monica Open Data Portal, which features six categories of data: finance, permits & licenses, public assets, public safety, public services, and transportation. Featured datasets include a list of existing and proposed wireless hotspots and their locations; records of requests for police service made by the public and officer-initiated activity; and a comprehensive record of more than 35,000 trees that make up Santa Monica’s Urban Forest.
Detailed information and visualizations of the City’s operating and capital improvement budgets can be found at Santa Monica’s OpenGov Finance Portal.
These portals are currently ranked 17th nationwide in the U.S. City Open Data Census—a partnership of Code for America, the Sunlight Foundation, and the Open Knowledge Foundation.
In April, InformationWeek—a website dedicated to connecting the business/technology community—ranked the Initiative 38th in their Elite 100, a compilation of the top business technology innovators in the United States. The City of Santa Monica was one of only a few local governments acknowledged among big business like NASA, Boeing, and Vanguard. This exclusive distinction, according to a press release from the Santa Monica’s Chief Information Officer Jory Wolf, “groups Santa Monica with the very best in the country at developing practical and measurable uses for technology that drive real business value.”
“You want virtual reality, big data analytics, Internet of Things, and mobile apps used in breakthrough ways?” asked InformationWeek editor Chris Murphy in his piece on the Elite 100. “The Elite 100 companies are applying all these and more, in ways that will rewrite the rules of business.”