open data
Ed Lee

San Francisco Proposes Revised Open Data Legislation, Plans To Hire Chief Data Officer

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San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is unveiling proposed changes to the City of San Francisco’s open data legislation today, creating more structure around how the city’s data is shared with the public.

You can read the proposed revisions here, but the big change appears to be the addition of a Chief Data Officer, who will be “responsible for sharing City data with the public, facilitating the sharing of information between City departments, and analyzing how data sets can be used to improve city decision making.” Each department would also designate a data coordinator to work with the CDO.

The proposed legislation states that the CDO should establish rules for including requirements in city contracts giving the city ownership of its data and the ability to post that data “where appropriate.” (As an example of how these contracts have created difficulties for open data in the past, see the controversy over San Francisco’s NextMuni data.)

There’s no word yet on when the CDO would actually be hired.

San Francisco is already making data available on the DataSF website, which was launched in 2009 and today hosts more than 200 city-maintained datasets. The city is announcing the first addition of private sector data to the site, specifically crowd and traffic data from Motionloft.

As part of the announcement, the city is highlighting three new projects that were built using San Francisco data — an official Recreation and Parks Department mobile app (created by developer Appallicious), which includes directions to local parks and other points of interest; a new project from Esri to map urban revitalization and growth in San Francisco over the past 10 years; and Outside, an app from 100 Plus that gives users healthy missions around the city.

Mayor Ed Lee will be discussing the changes in a press conference this morning at 11:30am Pacific, followed by a panel that I’ll be moderating with San Francisco Chief Innovation Officer Jay Nath, Ian Kalin from the US Department of Energy, Abhi Nemani from Code for America, and representatives from the tech companies mentioned above. You can watch a live stream of the announcement and the panel here.

Update: I should’ve mentioned that Supervisor David Chiu is actually introducing the legislation, and that it’s going to be submitted tomorrow, with a likely vote in December.