Initiative 14

Increase and improve City data

The City will continue to increase and improve the quality of City data available internally and externally, and facilitate methods for analyzing that data to help create a smarter and more efficient city.

#Savings #Services

Releasing data is a crucial component of creating an open and transparent government. Chicago is currently a leader in open data, capturing and publishing more than 400 machine-readable datasets to date. In 2012, Mayor Emanuel issued an executive order ensuring that the City continues to release new data, and empowering the Chief Data Officer to work with other City departments and agencies to develop new datasets. The City is following an aggressive schedule for releasing new datasets to the public and updating existing sets. It is also working to facilitate ways the City and others can use data to help improve City operations.

Chicago Shovels Plow Tracker


Chicago Works Mobile App


2nd City Zoning


Chicago Lobbyists Website Homepage


Open Data Success Story: ChicagoWorks

A collaboration between Alderman Ameya Pawar and local graphic design company 2pensmedia, ChicagoWorks is a free app that is changing the way Chicagoans interact with government. Using the app, residents can submit service requests directly to 311
and track the progress of reported issues. So far, more than 3,000 residents have downloaded the app.18

Open Data Success Story: SpotHero and Techstars Chicago

The app SpotHero makes residents’ lives easier by helping them find and reserve parking spots online. Developed in Chicago, the app had its start at Excelerate Labs, a Chicago start-up accelerator, now Techstars Chicago, that provides mentorship, training, and networking opportunities to 10 selected start-ups each year. After graduating from the program, ranked as one of the top 3 accelerators nationally, SpotHero attracted $2.5 million in VC funding. With this funding, the company is hiring new staff working to expand to other cities.19

Open Data Success Story: OpenGov Hack Night

Chicago boasts a community of “civic hackers” who are passionate about using technology to improve the city. An example of this passion in action is the OpenGov Hack Night. Organized by Open City, an organization that builds web apps and other tools using open government data, the Hack Night attracts civic hackers and curious residents eager to explore the intersection of open government data, smart cities, and technology. Every week, the Hack Night provides a collaborative environment for residents to learn about open data, working on cutting-edge projects and networking with passionate civic technologists.20

Chicago is an absolute leader in the provision of open government data. We’re now building an ecosystem of sustainable companies that use this data, mixed with other valuable data and services, to help people live better lives.

Daniel X. O’Neil
Executive Director
Smart Chicago Collaborative