Right now, only Louisville and Lexington, KY's two largest cities, have any open data as far as I know. Please leave a comment if you know of another city or have heard another one might be opening their data soon.
I prefer the bulk CSV data format, because if you want to you can import this into a GIS system, but it's harder to break GIS data in a CSV format for generic database loading. Having said that, some data is best output in GIS formats, like polygon area outlines (instead of point data).
I'd also like to point out what open data is. It's not just that it's data on a website in an interactive form, or a PDF to download. And it doesn't count if it costs money for a complete download. See the 8 principles of open data for a list, and I'd like to add that historic data is a ninth principle.
Louisville v. Lexington
So let's compare the two in the hopes of fostering some friendly competition and pushing each other to open more data.
For this comparison, things are going to be a little arbitrary, ie, mostly what I would like to see opened up, and what I believe to be important. But I am referencing existing open data city portals across the United States to see what they have opened.
Each dataset on the list that is open and freely downloadable gets a point. It gets a bonus point if the city has included Latitude and Longitude for each point.
It also gets a bonus point if it includes historic data, although the only dataset that has historic data in this list also has it released by the city is Louisville Restaurant Health Ratings. For example, Louisville has opened crime reports, but it's only the last 90 days, and building permits, but it's only currently open permits.
So here is the point chart of open data for Louisville and Lexington!
|Crime Reports||Yes, Lat/Lon|
|Property Maintenance||Yes, Lat/Lon|
|Liquor Licenses||Yes, Lat/Lon|
|Fire Stations||Yes, Lat/Lon|
|Historic Landmarks||Yes, Lat/Lon|
|Restaurant Health Ratings||Yes, Lat/Lon, Historic|
|Recent Home Sales|
|Vacant Properties||Yes, Lat/Lon|
|Public Transit Stops||Yes, Lat/Lon||Yes, Lat/Lon|
|Parks||Yes, Lat/Lon||Yes, Lat/Lon|
|Bike Trails||Yes, Lat/Lon|
|Bike Paths||Yes, Lat/Lon||Yes, Lat/Lon|
|Council Districts||Yes, Lat/Lon|
|Parcel Boundaries||Yes, Lat/Lon|
|Street Data||Yes, Lat/Lon|
|Traffic Signals||Yes, Lat/Lon|
The Final Total Score is
Louisville - 17
Lexington - 34
Lexington is the current winner!
Basically, Louisville should open their GIS data, and Lexington should open their CSV data. Then this exercise would be a more fair comparison.
Both cities are doing a great job of including latitude and longitude with each dataset.
Louisville should look at opening all of its historic data for crime, licenses, maintenance, and permits.
Both cities should open a wider range of datasets from the lists above.
Other cities should get on board with open data as well. I'd love to see Owensboro, Frankfort, Paducah, Bowling Green, Pikeville, Covington, Ashland, and Glasgow launch open data portals.
The state itself should also open its data, like property values, sex offenders, and crime reports from its KYOps system.
What do you think? Let me know if I have missed anything important, or done any math incorrectly.
Hopefully I can generate some discussion about what is open data, how effective is each city at opening their data, and what each needs to do to open more. What would you use open data for?