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Open Data Town Hall Seeks Feedback On County Initiative

By Aaron Kraut

Thursday - 11/14/2013, 1:35pm  ET

Screenshot of Data Montgomery's salary guide, part of the Montgomery County government's new Open Data programAlmost a year after its launch, Montgomery County officials want suggestions on the salary listings, permitting records, real-time parking info and other data sets part of the dataMontgomery website.

The county launched the site — which includes food inspection results, facility closures, spending disclosures, MC311 service requests, cable complaints — last December with the hope it would achieve a new level of transparency and provide software developers the data with which to create helpful apps.

On Thursday, Nov. 21, Chief Innovation Officer Dan Hoffman and Chief Information Officer Sonny Segal will host a town hall-style meeting about the website at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center (4805 Edgemoor Lane).

They’ll make a 30-minute presentation, then see what attendees think of individual data tables — whether the tables are easy to use and what other information people would like to see.

The county, according to a press release about the event, has a scorecard to help determine when data sets are published and is developing further plans for the program.

Employee salaries is by far the most popular data set in the program’s first year. The county recently released sets on employee tuition assistance, county parking garages, commercial permits going back to 2000, county contracts and a real-time indicator of how many parking spaces are occupied and how many are empty in the typically crammed Bethesda Row garage.

The “Open Data Town Hall” meeting is set for 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.