Data standardization across cities, counties and states is a critical milestones that must be realized to advance the open data movement, to fully realize all of the potential benefits of openly publishing government data.
Accela is a strong supporter of open data standards, and we support many of the standards listed below natively in the CivicData.com platform.
The Benefits of Data Standards
The best example of what is possible when governments publish open data that conforms to a specific standard is the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS). Developed by Google in partnership with the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet), GTFS is a data specification that is used by dozens of transit and transportation authorities across the country, and it has all of the qualities that open data advocates hope to replicate in other data standards for cities.
The GTFS standard is relatively easy to use – it’s a collection of zipped, comma-delimited text files. The wide availability and ease of use of GTFS data has spawned a cottage industry of transit applications in cities across the country and continues to be used as the bedrock set of information for transit app developers.
Here is a list of government open data standards that are currently in use and those under development:
- Open311 (citizen service requests)
- GTFS (Transit data)
- LIVES (Restaurant inspections)
- House Facts
- BLDS (building permits)
- Open Referral (information about community resources)
- Open511 (road event data)
Got questions? Contact Accela for more information.