PPIIN to take over OpenDataPhilly

Exciting news this morning: the Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network will take over OpenDataPhilly.org. Stay tuned for updates and follow-up event announcements. In the meantime, check out the press release below.

Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network
to assume responsibility for OpenDataPhilly project

(July 10, 2012) — The Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network (PPIIN) announced today that it has assumed responsibility for managing, operating and extending the OpenDataPhilly.org project.

OpenDataPhilly.org is a portal that provides access to more than 175 publicly available data sets, applications, and APIs related to the region.  It includes both municipal and non-municipal data and highlights projects built on those data sets.  It was created in 2011 through a collaboration between Azavea, the City of Philadelphia Office of Innovation & Technology, NPower PA, TechnicallyPhilly, WHYY, and the William Penn Foundation to provide free and easy access to data to encourage better and more transparent government and a more engaged and knowledgeable citizenry.

While Azavea, a geospatial analysis (GIS) software development firm, built the site and operated it since its launch, it was the firm’s and partners’ intention that the site should eventually find a home within a civic-minded non-profit organization that would help the project grow and expand.

PPIIN, which currently operates as part of Temple University’s Center for Public Interest Journalism, is a new project whose goal is to incorporate as a non-profit with a mission to educate, engage and empower the citizens of the Philadelphia region on topics of public interest.

“The idea that open access to data fosters better government and engages citizens is core to our mission as well,” said Neil Budde, hired to found PPIIN and serve as CEO. “As such this seemed like a perfect opportunity to unite two efforts and make the leap to the next level of utility.”

The project was recognized as Best Government/Citizen Collaboration and Best Open Data Platform in the 2011 GovFresh Awards.  Last summer Azavea released the software as an open source tool called Open Data Catalog that is now being used in several cities across the country.

“We are proud of what we created with OpenDataPhilly, but we always believed that it should be run by a non-commercial organization whose mission is aligned with principles of transparency and open government,” said Robert Cheetham, CEO of Azavea. “We think PPIIN is the perfect partner to grow and extend this in a way that will benefit the larger community.”

Press contact: Neil Budde (neil@neilbudde.com or 615.509.3033)

About Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network:

The Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network is a new project whose goal is to incorporate as a non-profit with a mission to educate, engage and empower the citizens of the Philadelphia region on topics of public interest.  For more information, visit: http://ppiin.org

About OpenDataPhilly.org:  

OpenDataPhilly is a portal that provides access to over 175 data sets, applications, and APIs related to the Philadelphia region.  It provides free and easy access to data to support a more transparent government as well as a more engaged and knowledgeable citizenry. For more information, visit: http://opendataphilly.org

 

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The Center for Public Interest Journalism is operated by the Temple University School of Media and Communication with support from the William Penn Foundation and the Temple University Journalism Department.

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