Durham launches new open data portal

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Joint project between Durham city and county governments enhances data accessibility

DURHAM, N.C. June 18, 2015–On June 22, the City of Durham and Durham County governments will launch the new open data portal, Open Durham, which allows users to explore, visualize and download county and city data. In addition to local data, Open Durham also features data sets from state and federal open data sources.

The Open Durham catalog is organized into 10 categories including transportation, social services, government administration and finance, economic development, education, health, public safety, sports and leisure, civic planning and environment. The categories are populated with nearly 200 data sets and maps from multiple Durham city and county departments. The datasets and maps range in topics from North Carolina school performance to Durham bicycle trails.

“The collaboration between the city and county affords Open Durham users several unprecedented benefits, mainly the single point of contact to Durham’s government data through a single Open Data portal,” said Durham County Chief Information Officer Greg Marrow. “In addition, by collaborating together, we leverage tax payer’s dollars more effectively by sharing in the cost to open up our data to Durham users.”

Prior to this launch, data was only available through individual department sites in portable document format (pdf), which made data collection a time consuming and arduous task. With Open Durham, users can now quickly access data in minutes instead of hours.

“Open Durham allows citizens to have a more interactive experience with government data, ” “ said Kerry Goode, chief information officer for the City of Durham. “While there are many personal and professional uses, we hope it will also lead to more citizen participation, which will ultimately strengthen our community.”
Durham city and county departments were eager to contribute data to the open data portal because of their commitment to open government. “We have provided several data sets from our department, including crime incidents and traffic stops,” said Durham Chief of Police Jose Lopez Sr. “Open Durham gives the Durham Police Department a new way to be as transparent as possible, which ultimately helps us to better serve the community.”

Durham chose French company, OpenDataSoft, as the open data vendor for Open Durham. “We evaluated all of the portal companies , weighted with our needs and OpenDataSoft was the choice for Durham,” said Hare. “[OpenDataSoft] let’s us do things in a way that is more user-centric. We can quickly make changes based on citizen feedback to provide a superior citizen experience.”

The Open Durham portal will add Durham city and county governments to a short list of North Carolina governments with open data sites. At launch, there are only three other cities, Asheville, Charlotte and Raleigh; and one other county, Wake, with open data sites.

The website for the Open Durham portal is https://opendurham.nc.gov.

For more information about Durham’s open data portal, contact Beverly Thompson at (919) 560-4123, ext. 11229 or by email at Beverly.Thompson@durhamnc.gov. Follow Open Durham on Twitter at https://Twitter.com/OpenDurhamGov.

About the City of Durham
The more than 2,400 employees of the City of Durham are dedicated to the service of the City’s residents – to provide quality services to make Durham a great place to live, work and play. Guided by the City’s Strategic Plan, 25 departments work to ensure the health, safety and welfare of residents and visitors. Services range from building inspections and code enforcement, to providing emergency services, to trash and waste collection, to constructing and maintaining streets, to providing essential water and sewer services. To learn more, visit http://durhamnc.gov, like http://Facebook.com/CityofDurhamNC, follow http://Twitter.com/CityofDurhamNC, or watch Durham Television Network (Time Warner Cable channel 8, 97-5 and AT&T U-verse channel 99) and http://YouTube.com/CityofDurhamNC.

About Durham County
Durham County is one of the fastest growing counties in North Carolina and in the nation. The economic diversity of the county ranges from agricultural communities to the internationally known Research Triangle Park, which is home to more than 50 major research and development organizations. Durham County’s population grew from about 180,000 in 1990, to more than 280,000 in 2013. To learn more, visit http://dconc.gov.

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