Sarah Geegan

By

College: Arts and Sciences

A&S Shares Resources with Lexington Fayette Urban County Government to Open Data Practices

Published: Feb 3, 2012

 

To view a transcript of the video above, click here.

 

Matt Wilson on GIS Workshop from UK College of Arts & Sciences on Vimeo.

 

 

Lexington, Ky. (Feb. 3, 2012) --The University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences is partnering with the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government in an effort to open the municipal government's data practices.

 

The call for open data, or publicly available data, has been widespread throughout Lexington government. Mayor Jim Gray included the initiative in his election platform, and the Urban County Council agreed that open data is important for Lexington Fayette Urban County development.

 

UK geography Professor Matt Wilson is leading the College of Arts and Sciences' portion of the initiative.

 

"Currently, Lexington Fayette Urban County Government charges a fee for access to spatial data," Wilson said. "So, even though it is a taxpayer supported entity, they try to save costs by charging fees to get access to what would normally be publicly available data."

 

The current data policy encompasses data sets ranging from bus routes and bike lanes to restaurant evaluation scores-- information useful to citizens, businesses and nonprofit organizations. However, the open-data policy would make this information obtainable, free of charge.

 

"Most municipalities recognize that there is an economic incentive to making data available," Wilson said. "It takes up less bureaucratic time in terms of setting up contractual arrangements to make the data available, and businesses and nonprofits find the data really useful for supporting their core operations."

 

The Open Data effort is chaired by Chad Cottle, director of Enterprise Solutions and PeopleSoft at the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.  To strengthen the initiative, Cottle and Wilson joined forces with a nonprofit advocacy group called OpenLexington. Founded by Chase Southard, a former research analyst in the UK College of Medicine, the group aims to build tools and educate the public on the importance of open data.

 

"The transformation of a city towards transparency and their commitment to publish data in a manner consistent with the principles of open data allows for a number of interesting things to happen," Southard said. "First, any citizen can now, if they choose, inspect the actions of their government. Second, businesses, researchers and journalists no longer have to file expensive freedom of information requests to gain access to data. Last, machine readable, programmatic access to data can be used to build innovative, new, or plainly useful applications."

 

These applications would be convenient avenues for utilizing data — for example, smart phone applications that exhibit restaurant inspection scores or bus routes.

 

In preparation for the legal mechanism of the initiative to launch, Wilson and Southard have developed a platform to make data available, using the resources of the College of Arts and Sciences. Wilson has already begun conversations with data communities in Lexington to discuss which data sets would be most useful to make available first.

 

"From the college's perspective, we have the infrastructure to do this kind of work," Wilson said. "We have the technical expertise. OpenLexington is providing a great deal of technical support to help us program the server and get that arrangement set up. It's wonderful to have such a great support staff at Arts and Sciences that allows us to think in creative and collaborative ways with the city."

 

Wilson, Southard Cottle are developing other plans to advocate the initiative as well.

 

"The three of us are working to build something called CityCampLex," Wilson said. "It's structured like an un-conference; people just sort of show up and they work for a couple days together. The idea behind CityCampLex is to bring together people from the programming and technical hacking communities to work with the city, to figure out different kinds of applications that could be built on top of the Open Data resource."

 

CityCampLex will be possible with help from Code For America, an organization dedicated to bringing Web professionals together with governments to promote openness and efficiency.

Through a new program called Code for America Brigade, whereby volunteers "build a civic Web together," Lexington is among the first of about 50 cities in the U.S. that the organization will provide with technical infrastructure and resources to support events like CityCampLex.

 

"CityCampLex will help build on the previous momentum and further help and encourage Lexington to make steps towards publishing open data through volunteer action," Southard said.  "We are planning for April, somewhere on UK's campus. 

 

"Having access to data helps citizens, businesses and organizations make informed decisions.  UK is full of enthusiastic professors, students and staff who want to contribute to this idea. Fortunately, UK has the capacity to foster ideas and make them realities."

 

To listen to a podcast, featuring Matt Wilson discussing his GIS Workshop Class, click here. This podcast was created by the College of Arts and Sciences.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Geegan, (859) 257-5365; sarah.geegan@uky.edu

open_data.jpgmatt_wilson.jpg
File Downloads
October
 
 
 
1
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Dallas Buyers Club
College of Law Welcomes Trevor Potter
Wed
2
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Notes on Marie Menken
LNFS Presents: Edge of Tomorrow
UK Jazz Ensemble/ UK Lab Band
Earth & Environmental Science Student Open House
"Nerd Night" Exhibit and Concert
"Anne Braden: Southern Patriot" Film Screening and Discussion
Thu
3
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: My Neighbor Totoro
LNFS Presents: (500) Days of Summer
Men's Soccer vs. Old Dominion
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Alabama
Fri
4
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. South Carolina
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
Swing Dancing!
Sat
5
Dancing at Lughnasa
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
UK Children's Hospital/Birthing Center Annual Perinatal Loss "Walk To Remember"
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Texas A&M
Sun
6
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Resumes and Cover Letters
Mon
7
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Networking and Job Search
UK Choristers
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Stillness in Motion: The Essence of Symmetry - presented by Dr. Carl Lee, Mathematics
Tue
8
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Night of the Living Dead
UK Law Day
Wed
9
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Mark Berry, Guest Percussion Recital
National Depression Screening Day
LNFS Presents: Torch Song Trilogy
Thu
10
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Shut Up and Play the Hits
LNFS Presents: Watchmen
KLJ Data Privacy Symposium
Family Weekend Check-in
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #1
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. South Carolina
Family Weekend: Derek Hughes
Fri
11
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. ULM
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
UK International Tent/ Tailgate Party
CT Surgery Symposium: Advances in the Surgical Management of Cardiothoracic Diseases:
Family Weekend Tent Party
Sat
12
Dancing at Lughnasa
DNT 101: A Taste of the Kentucky Doughnut Trail
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #2
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Auburn
Sunday Lunch at Historic Spindletop Hall
Men's Soccer vs. Marshall
Sun
13
 
Mon
14
Job Club - Social Media and Your Career
Massage on the Go
Tue
15
LNFS Presents: The Last Samurai
UK Symphony Band Concert
Women's Forum Conference 2014
#TrendingTopics: Pornography vs. Morality
Wed
16
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: The Tree of Life
LNFS Presents: Guardians of the Galaxy
UK Wind Symphony
Thu
17
LNFS Presents: Princess Mononoke
LNFS Presents: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Ole Miss
Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
Fri
18
Paint the Town Blue
Free Kaplan Entrance Practice Exams
4th Annual Big Blue Soccer Tournament
Men's Soccer vs. New Mexico
Swing Dancing and Costumes?
Sat
19
Paint the Town Blue
UK Men's Chorus and acoUstiKats
Jazz Spectacular
UK Student Pajama Party
Kentucky Volleyball vs. LSU
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Florida
Sun
20
Paint the Town Blue
Midterm of 2014 Fall Semester
Returning to Work and Breastfeeding
Open Access Week Kickoff Event (Webcast)
Grad School 101
Royalty Showcase
Mon
21
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Preparing for Law School
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Grad School Panel: Surviving Your 1st Year
Film & Panel Discussion: Be Like Others
Graduate and Professional School Showcase
Your Publication, Your Choice: Choosing the Right Open Access Journal
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Kitty Karnival
Tue
22
Study Tips for Medical School
LNFS Presents: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Thank-A-Donor Day
Campus Sustainability Day
Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Information Session
Getting Into Medical School
Wed
23
Writing a Winning Personal Statement
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Marimbas From Hell
LNFS Presents: The Fault in Our Stars
Generation Open: Researchers' Roles in the Age of Openness
Homecoming Street Fair
Thu
24
LNFS Presents: Kiki's Delivery Service
LNFS Presents: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
"see blue." Day at Keeneland
Peanut Butter Drive
Pumpkin Carving Tournament
Fri
25
Kentucky Football vs. Mississippi State
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
26
UK Women's Choir and Paws and Listen
Bill Cooper Faculty Recital
What Makes You "YOU: with Brett T. Spear
Sun
27
UK Trumpet Ensemble
Undergraduate Research Information Session "How to Find A Mentor"
Kentucky Men's Basketball Blue/White Scrimmage
Mon
28
Job Club - How To Get A Job at UK: Updates on IES Applicant Tracking System
Common Reading Experience Author Lecture: Presenting Ishmael Beah
Screening of the documentary Teached
Tue
29
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: The Shining
Pinterest Party
UK Lab Safety Fair
Leadership Assessment
"see boo." Halloween Party
Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Meeting
#UKEDTALKS: Design Thinking with Dr. John Nash
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Tennessee
Wed
30
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Lucy
Film Viewing and Discussion of The Other Boleyn Girl
LNFS Presents: Papirosen
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Alabama
Thu
31
LNFS Presents: ParaNorman
LNFS Presents: Carrie
All Hallow's Eve Concert (UK Symphony Orchestra)
Work-Life Retirement Conference
PEIK Seminar: Jim Rogers
Fri
 
Oct 31
LNFS Presents: ParaNorman 10/31/2014

Fri, 10/31/2014

Sat, 11/01/2014

Reset Page