Inside and outside of San Diego’s city government, advocates are asking departments to start releasing their information in a way that is clear, accessible and easy to analyze. That means departments have to start doing things differently after years of storing reams of paper in file cabinets. If you’ve cleaned out a garage at some point, you know that’s no easy task.
But this isn’t just a question of how the information is stored and organized. To do open data right, San Diego will have to give the public confidence that the information is timely and accurate. And it will have to make sure its employees are up to speed.
I posed these issues to Councilman Mark Kersey, Eric Busboom of the San Diego Regional Data Library and technology entrepreneur Ben Katz at a panel discussion hosted by the San Diego County Taxpayers Association Thursday. And although they said there were no easy answers, they believed the city could make open data work in collaboration with the community.
You can watch the full discussion online if you really want to nerd out. But here’s the abridged version of our conversation about how San Diego can clear the hurdles that lie ahead: