The Importance of Open Data

What is Open Data?

The Open Data Initiative is a new movement to place the power back into your hands through granting free access to use and republish the City’s data without restriction. Through increasing transparency and accountability, the City of Virginia Beach aims to increase citizen participation in government, create opportunities for economic development, generate open dialogue, inform decision making in the public and privates sectors, and spur innovation. In order to unlock open data’s potential, it is important that the data be public, primary, accessible, license-free, reusable, complete, timely, non-discriminatory, machine processable, and non- proprietary. 

Why Open Data?

Open data has the power to drive both growth and innovation across a variety of the City’s industries and sectors. The benefits of open data can be self-reinforcing because the use of open data can:

  • Be used to increase accountability and responsiveness 
  • Improve public knowledge of City’s activities and operations
  • Further the mission of the City
  • Allows for economic opportunity
  • Respond to a need or demand identified by the public
  • Foster civic engagement

The Future for Open Data 

The Open Data Initiative journey is one that is both bold and new but the benefits can be endless. In the future, the City hopes to take advantage of Open Source technologies that will provide citizens with a more inclusive, engaging, and cost effective platform than the current solution in place. This shift will set the tone and standards of the City of Virginia Beach by pioneering new technologies and will also support members within the city, citizens, academics, and other organizations to come together as a community to create stories and share analysis and information about the data posted. The City has made a commitment to open data and will work to ensure that the goal comes into full fruition.

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