The visitors of the website opendata.kosice.sk can currently find 27 datasets there. These are the groups of data, for example, from the field of infrastructure, mobility, and the city’s economy. They can download the lists of schools, see the last voting of the city council members, or study the map of the cycling routes. Whereas the maps serve as tools to display geospatial data, the visitors can also find visualization and dashboards that transform the numeral data into more understandable graphic visuals. At the same time, they allow them to filter and search through the data.
Cooperation is a key to success
A team of data analysts from the Municipality Office of the city of Košice, the CX institute, and IT Valley ensures that the available datasets are of high quality and keeps the portal’s content up to date. “I perceive the cooperation with the data policy and analysis department in Košice to be very positive. They have accepted us as a part of the team, and therefore we can discuss things openly and enhance the portal. Personally, I am really looking forward to what will our future cooperation bring,” says Žofia Sinčáková, the researcher from the CX institute. The experience of modern cities, which have already made their data available to the public, show us that the cooperation between the self-government, non-profit sector, and business sphere is the condition for the project’s sustainability.
“The municipality’s goal is to make decisions based on data, not on feelings or assumptions,” said Richard Dlhý, the head of the department of strategic development of Košice’s Municipality Office, during the discussion about open data, held in January. Launching the open data platform means that the self-government has to set new internal regulations and processes regarding data. It might be a challenge for the city of Košice since the platform requires the cooperation of all the departments, municipal companies, and city boroughs. When we link data from various areas and localities, it brings the most valuable and useful results.
Opportunities for startups and active citizens
The higher is the number of high-quality collaborative projects about open data; the greater is the value of data itself. Therefore, the next step in unleashing the potential of the open data platform is to create opportunities for active researchers, students, innovators, active students, and municipal employees.
Whereas the self-government can use the platform to systematize its data and work better with information, open data can improve citizens’ services by the city. The research conducted by the city of Cambridge shows us that successful projects with open data focus on solving specific, well-defined problems and needs. The ideal platform to generate such ideas are hackathons. One of the first hackathons on open data will happen in May.
The great challenge of the open data portal will be to spark the interest in the public for open data and its regular use. The website opendata.kosice.sk will be enhanced not only by visualizations and applications but also by the instructions and examples of practical use of open data. Even today, the visitors can find information about what each dataset contains, which format it is and what license is needed to download it.
Citizens can propose what datasets should the city publish
The visitors can currently participate in a short survey to determine which datasets they would like to see on the portal. The results will help the self-government define the priorities in publishing data in the future.
Author: Mária Vasiľová