Philadelphia goes transparent — with its data

As Philadelphia’s chief data officer, Tim Wisniewski, 28, holds a fairly new job title. He helps publish the city’s data—employee salaries, crimes and property assessments, among other things—for public consumption on the Web.

It’s all in the spirit of transparency and spurring civic innovation. Since Mr. Wisniewski took over in 2014, he has seen a number of promising outcomes, he says.

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Philadelphia looks to become more transparent

The city has released details of a plan to help provide even more transparency and efficiency to city governance.

The Open Data Strategic Plan uses a comprehensive method termed the “open data census,” to help officials better track and confront crime and other quality of life issues, and for residents to find out what various city agencies are doing.

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Open-government group eyes police-lawsuit settlements

Philadelphia shells out a pretty penny every year to settle lawsuits based on allegations of police misconduct.

MuckRock.com, which bills itself as a "collaborative news site" that helps journalists, researchers and citizens analyze and share government documents, posted an online report yesterday that looked at how Philadelphia's annual payouts stack up against those in a handful of other large cities. The findings might not surprise you.

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Open data gurus share best practices

In honor of Data Innovation Day the city of Philadelphia released a guidebook to provide advice and information to city departments and agencies on releasing open data. The city’s Open Data Guidebook offers suggestions on reviewing data for completeness and accuracy, adding metadata components and terms of use as well as staging the data and using application programming interfaces.

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