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Monday, February 26

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The Mechanics
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Open Government Wed Jan 22 2014

Smart Chicago and Cook County Join Forces to Make Open Data More Transparent

Smart Chicago Collaborative and Cook County are partnering up to expand open data and make it easier for Chicagoans to access it.

"Entering into this partnership with Smart Chicago, will help the County find ways to improve the lives of residents through technology," Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said.

Under the two year agreement, which begins on February 1, Smart Chicago will assist the County in publishing open data sets and developing open data applications. According to a Cook County blog post, "collaborating with Smart Chicago will increase the County's ability to find, clean and link data, such as crime and health statistics, to the County's website."

Informing the contract are two documents-- the Cook County Open Government Plan [PDF] and the Cook County Open Data Ordinance, 11-0-54--which outline open data initiatives to be undertaken under the Preckwinkle administration.

Smart Chicago's duties include posting two new data sets per month for the County, reviewing existing catalog and preparing monthly data health and status reports and educating the public about the County's data projects. The full list of duties can be found here.

Daniel O'Neil, executive director of Smart Chicago, said the news of the agreement has been generally positive. "It's more about doing the work than about it being a big announcement."

O'Neil explains Cook County has a lot of data that's all over the place, and Smart Chicago's responsibility is to fix that.

The contract is valued at $170,000,00. The County will commit $85,000,00 annually for the next two years and the Chicago Community Foundation will provide an additional $20,000.000 in matching funds.

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