The city of Jackson will be the first municipality in Michigan to establish an online open data portal making access to public information faster and easier. The effort is being supported by the Sunlight Foundation, the Jackson Chamber of Commerce and the University of Michigan.
A similar portal was launched last year by the city of South Bend, Indiana.
The portal should simplify and accelerate access to public information as well as reduce charges to citizens and businesses making Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The portal should also improve efficiencies in inter-departmental sharing. Another positive is further adoptions of the portal software will reduce future costs for other municipalities.
MiCOG hopes the open data portal will eventually be adopted by communities statewide.
The U-M contingent in the Jackson collaboration is led by Dr. Clifford Lampe of Michigan’s School of Information.
“He researches the social and technical structures of large scale technology mediated communication…” and “…has also been involved in the creation of multiple social media and online community projects…”
In an interview last year, Lampe told Jackson Citizen Patriot reporter Will Forgrave that “the three-year project will have graduate students develop mobile and social media apps designed to streamline communication between Jackson citizens and their leaders.”