Betabeat has had open government on the brain this week, so we called up Girish Chhugani, senior advisor at the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DOITT, pronounced “Do it!”) to talk about the city’s newly launched NYC Open Data initiative.
Mr. Chhugani is both the project lead for NYC Big Apps–Mayor Bloomberg just launched version 3.0 of the contest at NYTM–and the man responsible for transferring the city’s heterogeneous data sets on everything from traffic to crime to electricity consumption to school attendance into something more developer-friendly.
This morning, the NYC Digital Tumblr featured a big, bold link to NYC Open Data, advertising a catalog that “offers access to a repository of government-produced, machine-readable data sets.” Given the city’s penchant for exposing this data, we wondered if this catalog was new.
“It is new – it’s a big deal for us,” replied the city’s chief digital officer Rachel Sterne. “First time we have API- enabled data, which has long been a goal.”
In response to the announcement, entrepreneur and investor Mark Birch wrote, “The age of open sourcing government is upon us and it starts with open access to data.”