City IT on Access: City Hall

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snoqueen
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Re: City IT on Access: City Hall

Postby snoqueen » Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:15 pm

They do. Plenty of us use the data in its more or less raw form every day.

Third party developers come in and make apps to present it in different formats.

All good, since the city hasn't got a bunch of app developers to do it themselves and this way, the third party guys compete with each other and we get a good choice of apps for various platforms.

Do sites like Zillow similarly use the city assessor's data right off the city site to arrive at their (Zillow's) valuations?

fennel
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Re: City IT on Access: City Hall

Postby fennel » Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:20 pm

snoqueen wrote:They do. Plenty of us use the data in its more or less raw form every day.

Third party developers come in and make apps to present it in different formats.

Sno, your first paragraph contradicts the second. Some developers do apparently have access to the live raw data in some form, but then they process it and display an interpretation of it via an app. That's all good, even excellent, but it's a far cry from it's raw format. (Or better put, far from a structured format that's usable by other applications.)

For a typical example, see the "Response" heading for a route request on sjresnick's site. That's a machine-readable bolus of information that uses a commonly understood syntax to deliver data.

The point is anybody should be able to be the developer, or simply user, of that live raw data feed. To limit access to only pre-concieved uses is a classic example of thinking inside the shipping container.

Personally, I'm interested in not-for-profit uses, but I don't object to opening up data for for-profit endeavors that do no evil.

juanton
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Re: City IT on Access: City Hall

Postby juanton » Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:32 am

fennel wrote:
sjresnick wrote:You mean this? http://api.smsmybus.com/

I completely agree with you, BTW.

Is there a dataset or API you're looking for in particular?

This is exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about. But why isn't the City providing this?


They do.

Click on any one of the datasets at the city data site. Click on the Export menu option. Then on the left side navigation that appears, under Export, click API.

It's a REST based API.

snoqueen
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Re: City IT on Access: City Hall

Postby snoqueen » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:23 am

Sno, your first paragraph contradicts the second. Some developers do apparently have access to the live raw data in some form, but then they process it and display an interpretation of it via an app. That's all good, even excellent, but it's a far cry from it's raw format.


OK, I see what you mean. You're making the distinction from a developer's viewpoint and I am making it from a user's viewpoint. I guess Stu could ask about either one in his interview.

The link I posted earlier shows where the smartphone user can get various live bus time apps, separated by what king of phone they have. Those aren't Metro's own apps.

The link below gives the same data on Metro's own very simple unclever page:

http://www.cityofmadison.com/metro/mobile/index.cfm

It's not "raw" in the sense you meant but it's not a cool phone app either. It's just live data formatted in a very basic way by Metro and made publicly available.

For not-for-profit uses, I'd think data the public can obtain free by going to the city county building (or wherever) ought to be available free in digital form as well. Maybe that's what Stu should be asking about.

Regarding the economics of development, from what I can figure out, the other bus tracker apps are bought through the various app stores and that's how the developers get paid. Do some of them also display ads or have a working relationship with particular businesses? I haven't viewed each one. Should the data be available free for those uses? Is it? I don't know. Good question again.

What other live datasets are you thinking of? Traffic info is already available half a dozen different ways.

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Re: City IT on Access: City Hall

Postby sjresnick » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:33 am

snoqueen wrote:Maybe the leading question should be about what other data sets are similarly available but less well known.


I'd like to see building inspection, vacant properties, police crime records (not calls for service) released.

There is also a wealth of information available in our neighborhood indicators project. It contains hundreds of datasets on neighborhood health, poverty, and access to resources. To be effective, it would require a third-party API.


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