Smart San Leandro: Welcome to Our New Open Data Hub!

By Office of Innovation
In Uncategorized
Nov 29th, 2017
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Where can you find city GIS information or public records? Want to know when your street will be swept? Heard about “Adopt-a-Drain” program and wondering whether the drain in front of your home has been adopted yet?

Wonder no more! San Leandro has joined Smart Cities and other government organizations around the globe that have opened up government-owned data sets to increase civic engagement and economic development opportunities. Curious? Go to geoSL and explore! The Maps are easy to navigate, while a little knowledge of ArcGis/Esri and how to extrapolate data will help with exploring the available data sets.  For example:

Follow this link to find out more about San Leandro’s Open Data policies: City of San Leandro Guidelines for Publishing Open Data.  These guidelines were developed based on a template provided by the Sunlight Foundation, a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that uses civic technology, open data, policy analysis and journalism to make our government organizations and politics more accountable and transparent to all.

What is Open Data and why is it important to San Leandro?

Regular followers of San Leandro Next have read about San Leandro’s work to improve the quality of life for its residents, businesses and visitors through “Smart City” applications.

Definition: A smart city is defined as an urban area that uses different types of electronic data collection sensors to supply information used to manage assets and resources efficiently.[1

So — projects like the City’s Smart Lights system fit into this category. Data collection sensors supply information (data) that help the City improve services and reduce costs.  This data is collected by the City and could potentially be made available through the new Open Data portal.

Definition: Open data is data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone for any purpose – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share openly (http://opendefinition.org/). 

Among the expected benefits to residents are increased government efficiency and civic engagement, leading to social and economic benefits: (1) fostering citizen participation in city projects; (2) increased citizen interaction with municipal government; (3) supporting early stages of entrepreneurship; (4) workforce development and job creation; and (5) fostering a positive business environment and (6) promoting public-private partnerships.

San Leandro continues to be recognized nationally for its work to increase transparency through technology, innovation – and now, a new Open Data Hub:

  • http://www.govtech.com/dc/digital-cities/Digital-Cities-Survey-2017.html : GovTech Magazine revealed in early November that the Center for Digital Government pronounced the City of San Leandro as one of the winners in this year’s Digital Cities Survey.  Now in its 17th year, the annual survey recognizes cities using technology to improve citizen services, enhance transparency and encourage citizen engagement.

From the article:

“Across the bay from San Francisco, San Leandro continues to work to take a data-driven approach to local government. The city has upgraded its 311 system with a mobile app, MySL, launched in January 2017. This enables citizens to report issues like broken sidewalks, potholes or park maintenance, and staff to quickly respond to the problems. The IT staff is also developing a new data analytics program to improve the design of recreation programs for the community based on how past programs have performed.

“San Leandro continues to benefit from its participation in the Startup in Residence (STiR) program. As part of the city’s open data efforts, they are working with 2016 STiR startup LotaData to produce a geo-based dashboard with information related to GIS, finance, parks and recreation data, crime, and permit data. 2017 STiR companies Bexi and YoGov are helping to build a chatbot for the city library and develop a customized resident portal, respectively.

“In other areas, this year the IT Department helped the police department to complete an overhaul of its computer-aided dispatch and other support. San Leandro is also now working with Oakland to develop a bus-rapid-transit to connect the two cities. Plus, the city’s Fiber Master Plan will address several areas of focus for smart city development, including lighting, traffic signals, parking, Wi-Fi, and commercial and residential broadband services.”

[1]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_city#cite_note-1

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