Palo Alto's data-hungry residents and app-makers now have something new to feast on. The City of Palo Alto has unveiled the latest step in its "Open Data" initiative -- an effort that officials say aims to make the government more transparent.
Following the lead of other cities, including San Francisco and New York City, the city has partnered with the Palo Alto company Junar to create a new platform to display a variety of data sets, including ones pertaining to rainfall, Census data, street trees, bike paths and park locations.
The new cloud-based platform "has enhancement and visualization capabilities that make the data useful even before it is downloaded or consumed by a software application," Jonathan Reichental, the city's chief information officer, said in a statement.
City Manager James Keene called the new platform "a natural complement to our goal of becoming a leading digital city and a connected community."
But he also hopes the data can have practical applications, as was seen in February when a group of Stanford hackers used city data to make a searchable online index of Palo Alto's street conditions.
"Using this data, through challenges and hackathons, non-city employees can develop applications that can be of use to the community at no cost to the city," Keene said at the July 23 meeting of the City Council.
The new platform is available at data.cityofpaloalto.org.