White House Opportunity Project hopes open data will yield economic mobility


The Obama administration launched a new open data initiative called the Opportunity Project at a White House event this afternoon. During the event, officials highlighted new efforts to help communities use open data to drive community services around housing, job access, education and transportation.

"The Administration is releasing a unique package of federal and local datasets in an easy-to-use format and accelerating a new way for the federal government to collaborate with local leaders, technologists and community members to use data and technology to tackle inequities and strengthen their communities," said a White House fact sheet.

The U.S. Census Bureau, in collaboration with the Presidential Innovation Fellows, stood up a new portal at Opportunity.Census.gov, which houses data sets, digital tools and software developer resources.

"This interactive site invites software developers, data users, community leaders and local governments to learn, connect and build as part of a larger community of practice," said the fact sheet.

The Census Bureau also created a new Opportunity Module for CitySDK, which stands for software development kit, which makes it easier to build products with open data from federal and local government.

Opportunity.Census.gov and the CitySDK can also be found on Github.

Among the data sets and tools made available through the new project are a new mapping tool created by the Housing and data sets from four additional federal agencies and eight cities.

The Agriculture Department will take a lead role in the initiative by enabling high school students to design digital tools that support rural community development.

A number of private-sector commitments accompanied the announcement, such as integrations with Redfin, Zillow, GreatSchools and Esri, among others.

For more:
- read the fact sheet

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