Last week, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced Baton Rouge’s plans to celebrate Open Data Day 2020 from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at the East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, 7711 Goodwood Blvd. The event is part of an annual worldwide celebration of open data, when communities around the globe come together to engage residents and build new solutions to civic challenges using data.
“Over the past few years, our focus on open data and data-driven decision making has positioned Baton Rouge as one of the nation’s leaders for transparency and innovation in local government,” said Mayor Broome. “In 2020, we will continue to expand our open data program — as well as citizen awareness and engagement surrounding the data available to them — in ways that enhance how we deliver City-Parish programs and services and improve quality of life in East Baton Rouge Parish.”
In 2019, communities around the globe held more than 250 unique events designed to reach out to new people and build new solutions to civic problems using data. Baton Rouge’s Open Data Day 2020 event will feature presentations and discussions of City-Parish areas of focus involving open data, such as open mapping and data for equal development. It will also include an overview of how open data can be used to build greater quality of place in Baton Rouge, leveraging simple tools and analysis that can be applied on a neighborhood level or across the city and parish.
In addition to this community event, at the Feb. 26 Metro Council meeting, Mayor Broome proclaimed March 7 as Open Data Day 2020 and announced an expansion of the City-Parish’s award-winning Open Data BR portal, with three new datasets soon to be available on the portal.
These data include requests for inspection or treatment of mosquito and rodent issues; public health inspection data for East Baton Rouge Parish restaurants, now available in tabular form; and grease trap permitting and service data for restaurants and other commercial businesses.
In January, Mayor Broome released the City-Parish’s 2019 Open Data Policy Report that outlined successes in open data for the prior year, along with priorities for 2020 in alignment with the “open by default” mandate included in the City-Parish’s open data policy. These and other open data measures led to the Center for Digital Government naming Baton Rouge the fifth most digital city in the U.S., with Baton Rouge ranking sixth overall in the 2019 U.S. City Open Data Census.
To access these newly released datasets and other open data resources, visit the Open Data BR portal at data.brla.gov. For more information on the City-Parish’s technology and transparency initiatives, visit brla.gov/transparency.