The Free Library of Philadelphia yesterday released its first batch of raw data to the OpenDataPhilly project.
As discussed in previous blog posts, the "Open Data" initative's goal is to provide people with free and easy access to all kinds of data and information for the betterment of our lives and communities.
In Philadelphia, the focus had primarily been on government transparency and data for city services and GIS mapping, with the culmination of all of those elements being the Philly311 app, but there are now a lot more data sets being published by non-municipal entities such as non-profits, universities, and commercial organizations in the Philadelphia region.
The data released by Free Library primarily concerns our RSS feeds for Author Events, Free Library Blogs, Free Library Podcasts, Book Reviews, and Digital Collections.
While this data was already public, the OpenDataPhilly website will help give it a wider audience, and also be a repository for developers to access and create mobile applications and APIs with that data. The Free Library of Philadelphia will continue to work with OpenDataPhilly to cultivate ideas around how our data can meet the growing interest, demand and utility for openness and transparency of information.