September 21, 2012 | by

How civic open data can help make us safer

Transportation for America LogoA federal government commitment to open data — epitomized in a White House “datapalooza” last Friday — has catalyzed the development of apps and tools that can help enrich citizens’ lives and help keep them safer.

We’re no stranger at T4 America to the idea of using open government data to help ordinary citizens better understand their transportation system and how federal and local transportation policy needs to change to make them safer. We’ve regularly used public data from the U.S. Department of Transportation to seed useful tools, like the interactive map of ten years of pedestrian fatalities (Dangerous by Design) that uses the federal traffic fatalities database, or the nationwide map of all U.S. deficient bridges (The Fix We’re In For) sourced from the regular National Bridge Inventory submitted by states to the federal government each year.

The White House followed up their announcement of safety.data.gov earlier in 2012 with a day-long “datapalooza” in Washington, D.C. last week that brought together organizations and developers interested in safety data specifically.

Read the rest of this article by Stephen Lee Davis at Transportation for America.