Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched “open.ny.gov,” a new and comprehensive state data transparency website that provides – for the first time – user-friendly, one-stop access to data from New York State agencies, localities, and the federal government. The website, featuring economic development, health, recreation, and public services information, was unveiled today during Sunshine Week, a nationwide initiative designed to raise awareness about the importance of open government.
The Governor today also issued an Executive Order directing state agencies to, for the first time, review and catalogue data that they collect and take steps to make public data available on the website. Data will be posted online in accordance with guidelines to be developed by the state Office of Information Technology Services (ITS), and the Executive Order directs ITS to consult with agencies and receive public input as those guidelines are finalized. As of today, over 30 state agencies and authorities, the State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University of New York (CUNY) are already making data available, and the State Education Department has agreed to participate going forward.
Open.ny.gov is also offered as a shared resource to localities across the state, which will give citizens unified access to government data and help local governments cut down costs and improve efficiency in addition to increasing transparency. The Counties of Essex, Oneida, Onondaga, and Suffolk as well as the City of Albany have already begun sharing their data on the website. The State will provide assistance to all localities that choose to use the service.
Open.ny.gov can help state agencies and local governments by fostering research, promoting informed decision-making, and enhancing collaboration based on public data. It also provides agencies and localities with increased technical capacity to make their data public.
Through a partnership with the federal government, thousands of federal data sets are also available at open.ny.gov alone or in combination with New York’s data. Similarly, New York’s data is searchable along with data from other states on the federal website data.gov.
Over 200 datasets, maps, and charts are available today, with some datasets comprised of thousands of pieces of information. By merging information from multiple agencies and allowing mapping, open.ny.gov will substantially increase the usability of this information. As more data is made public, additional useful applications and information will be developed.
Open.ny.gov builds on an open data pilot project recently conducted by the State Health Department. This pilot was supported by the agency’s open government initiative — the Maximizing Essential Tools for Research Innovation and eXcellence Project, or METRIX Project.
The METRIX Project is designed to improve public access to DOH data assets and encourage innovation, participation, and collaboration among stakeholders with the purpose of developing targeted health care policies to improve the quality of New York’s health care system. Since the METRIX Project’s launch in August 2011, DOH has made valuable health data publically available online. This data is now featured on open.ny.gov, as well as on a new health site at health.data.ny.
Features Available at Open.ny.gov:
One-stop access to high value government data
Powerful Cross-Agency Search Tools: All data submitted can be easily searched through a single search tool, facilitating the most efficient use of information from all agencies.
Centralized access to New York’s top transparency websites: Citizens’ Connects, the Tappan Zee Bridge website; TheNewNY.com; the Regional Economic Development Council website; comprehensive Business Resources from Empire State Development; and the Jobs Express database of job openings in New York.
Centralized collection of “apps” and mobile tools using NYS data
Social Media Engagement: Easy ways for citizens to adapt the data to their individual context, visualize it on maps and charts, and share their creations with others on blogs and social networks; use of social media on the website will promote an ongoing “open data” conversation among users.
Suggest a Dataset: Through this feature, the public can suggest ideas for data that should be included on the site.
Ability to search federal and locality data due to partnerships with the federal government and localities across New York
Direct to Open.ny.gov