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Civic Metadata Standards and their usage within our Open Data Program

Earlier this year, we redesigned our open data portal and wrote a blog post at that time outlining the updates we made and the rationale behind them. In that blog post, we spoke to some of the related work we would be doing regarding making improvements to the metadata of our datasets.

As part of that work, Nina Showell who is a Masters Candidate from UW iSchool, spent 10 weeks over this summer working within the Open Data team as part of an Open Data Literacy (ODL) project, funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Over the course of her internship, Nina developed a “Policy Analysis of Civic Metadata Standards and Implications for the City of Seattle Open Data Program” (available here). In this report, she analyzed the work of seven cities who were some of the original pioneers in the US municipal open data movement (Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle) and their usage of civic metadata standards.

Focusing specifically on the Seattle Open Data program, she developed a set of key recommendations based on our current usage of civic metadata standards, and how we might implement those within our Open Data program in the future. We expect to include some work streams related to these metadata recommendations into our 2018 Open Data Plan.

Nina also wrote a series of blog posts charting the progress of her work over the 10 weeks, which you can access here.

In the coming months, we in the Open Data team will blog about the ongoing work we’ve been doing regarding metadata improvements within our existing datasets on our open data platform. Again, Nina’s work will help inform some of our decision making regarding this project.

In closing, we would like to thank Nina for her fantastic contributions to our Open Data program this summer, and her project sponsor Prof. Nic Weber from the UW iSchool. Additionally, we would like to thank the staff from the cities of Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco who very kindly and generously provided us with fantastic insights into their usage of civic metadata standards and helped shaped this report.