New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Illustrating Historical Data for the Digital Age

Illustrating Historical Data for the Digital Age

 Municipal Archives to be Searched for Data that should be on the Open Data Portal an Effort to Make It Accessible and Easy to Understand

 New York, NY – Access to information in New York City’s Open Data Portal to be improved by several pieces of legislation heard today in the Committee on Technology. The improvements will add historical data from municipal Archives including charts and graphs that have largely been missing since the Portal’s creation in 2012. The legislation is part of the City’s ongoing effort to make government data available for all in an easily accessible format.

 Introduction 1098, sponsored by Council Member Ben Kallos, requires the Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS) to conduct a complete survey of its records for “statistical or factual information” contained within lists, tables, graphs, charts, or other “non-narrative forms.” Each will be evaluated for inclusion on the Open Data Portal based on “sufficient public value.” Records will be judged based on historical, research, and cultural value, clarity and completeness, and whether the information each contains has previously been requested for release.

 “The Open Data Portal empowers New Yorkers with valuable information needed in order to learn about city services. It is an invaluable tool for elected officials like myself to analyze and oversee how our city delivers services promised,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “This legislation will expand and clarify the information and historical data appearing on the portal. It will help policy-makers and the public evaluate programs, better plan for the future.”

 The survey, to be completed by July 2021, will be conducted in consultation with members of the public from historic, research, cultural, and academic institutions.

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