112 – Make 311 a ‘Big Data’ Treasure Trove“Our 311 city help hotline has fielded over 158 million calls in the past decade. The data about the types of calls and the locations from which they are made are closely- held secrets by the city. This information should be released in raw form. Obviously we would remove any personal information, but giving the public and city workers access to the data might yield effective mapping, trend-spotting, and innovative solutions.”
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THIS JUST IN! Our friends at the Coalition for Queens have organized a NYC Mayoral Forum on Tech Policy!
Join us at the NYC Mayoral Candidates Tech Policy forum at the Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria) on Monday, June 17th at 6:30 PM to hear the candidates discuss topics related to technology in New York City, including tech jobs and startup companies, STEM education, and government policy.
The discussion will be moderated by Anjali Athavaley of the Wall Street Journal and Nilay Patel of The Verge. Confirmed candidates for the forum include:
- NYC Comptroller John Liu
- Former NYC Councilmember Sal Albanese
- Former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, Jr.
- Former NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson
- Former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner
We hope to make the forum participatory and would love your input. Please submit questions for the candidates on our website or tweet a question with the hashtag #queenstechforum.
This forum is presented in partnership with the Museum of the Moving Image, Partnership for New York City, Code for America NY, and Queens County Young Democrats.
Five characteristics of an open source city:
1. Fostering a culture of citizen participation
2. Having an effective open government policy
3. Having an effective open data initiative
4. Promoting open source user groups and conferences
5. Being a hub for innovation and open source businesses
But there is a dark side. Big data erodes privacy. And when it is used to make predictions about what we are likely to do but haven’t yet done, it threatens freedom as well. Yet big data also exacerbates a very old problem: relying on the numbers when they are far more fallible than we think. Nothing underscores the consequences of data analysis gone awry more than the story of Robert McNamara.
Open data embraces the beauty of a more transparent government,” said NYC Councilspeaker Quinn. “It is the building block of the digital age.
But even now, in an era of hyper-localization, of neighborhood blogs and Patch sites, many of us have little sense of what our community boards are doing, little time to pay attention, and the boards in turn often are short-staffed and cannot possibly disseminate information on every issue.
Transparency, at very minimum, needs to be a two-way street — not an ever-present, top-down panopticon.
There’s a deep, deep relationship between New Yorkers and their government,” Mr. Flowers said, “and that relationship is captured in the data.