Mariko Davidson serves as an Innovation Fellow for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where she works on all things open data. These opinions are her own. You can follow her @rikohi.
States struggle to define their role in the open data movement. With the exception of some state transportation agencies, states watch their municipalities publish local data, create some neat visualizations and applications, and get credit for being cool and innovative.
States see these successes and want to join the movement. Greater transparency! More efficient government! Innovation! The promise of open data is rich, sexy, and non-partisan. But when a state publishes something like obscure wildlife count data and the community does not engage with it, it can be disappointing.
States should leverage their unique role in government rather than mimic a municipal approach to open data. They must take a different approach to encourage civic engagement, more efficient government, and innovation. Here are few recommendations based on my time as a fellow:
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