Fresh portal

2017-12-14 06:01

The City of Cape Town has breathed new life into the large amount of data it has on hand through the Open Data Portal.

Since its launch in 2015, the Open Data Portal has grown in popularity as a source of raw data that is used to develop applications, among a number of other uses.

The City’s Open Data Portal was launched with 29 data sets. As at the end of last month, this number has increased to 106 datasets available free of charge to members of the public in a useable format. There have been more than 54 000 downloads off the portal since February 2015 which equates to, on average, 1 500 downloads per month.

The Open Data Portal seeks to promote the use of the City’s data for broader social and economic benefit. It has been used as a source for events such as hackathons, data quests and data challenges. At these events, stakeholders come together to apply their skills to the different ways in which data can be used. A number of ideas are generated at these forums and some develop into applications or products.

‘The portal functionality has been incrementally enhanced. Additional plans are afoot to further improve the user experience of the portal as well as the content. One of the initiatives is to create a collaborative space on the portal for users to share information or case studies on how they have made use of the City’s data,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Corporate Services, Councillor Raelene Arendse.

The new portal functionality allows for automated updates of data from the City’s Geographic Information System which means more up-to-date data being available to users

One of the key outcomes at a recent open data workshop was the establishment of an open data user group that will encourage discussion and an exchange of ideas on current and future datasets to be published on the portal. The user group will also allow the City to engage with users to better understand the data needs that might exist. This will keep the City vigilant and responsive to the needs of data users.

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