City of Cape Town’s Open Data Portal

City Of Cape Town’s Open Data Portal

Open Data Portal benefits public engagement, stimulates growth

Effective decision-making, the cornerstone of economic development, relies on access to accurate data. Recognising this need, the City of Cape Town set up an Open Data Portal to provide free access to a range of informative and user-friendly datasets.

“Our data is available in a useable format at no charge and by opening up our datasets, we increase transparency and accountability. This in turn empowers residents and civil society organisations,” says Councillor Raelene Arendse.

Launched in 2015 with just 29 datasets, the Open Data Portal now provides access to over 106 datasets including property zoning rights, service delivery areas, street address numbers, public lighting locations, refuse collection beats, open watercourses and wetlands, places of worship, heritage resources and more. When accessing a particular dataset, the portal also identifies a selection of related datasets.

The City of Cape Town has always generated datasets that are useful to the public, however the information was previously often hidden within departmental silos or rendered inaccessible by organisational data access policies and procedures. All this has now changed.

The Open Data Portal rests on a secure, centralised geographic information platform that exploits the open data capabilities of Esri architecture to facilitate transparency and accountability. Users are able to download entire data sets or filtered subsets in a variety of data formats that best suit their particular needs. Data is available in spatial and tabular formats.

The benefits of using the City of Cape Town’s Open Data Portal are experienced both within and outside local government:

  • Entrepreneurs can access a range of data sets to identify new business opportunities, develop data-driven products, better understand their markets, plan operations and improve their competitiveness.
  • Members of the public are able to access data and use it to engage with local government on policy planning and hold it accountable for expenditure and service delivery.
  • Sharing of data between government departments is simplified and accelerated, allowing for greater understanding of how different systems interact and enabling better decision-making within local government. Substantial cost savings are also realised as duplicated data acquisition costs come to an end.

The establishment of the City of Cape Town’s Open Data Portal has boosted collaboration and increased transparency in the city’s processes. As use of the portal increases and additional datasets are added, the community will benefit even further from the resulting economic growth that it promotes.

To learn more about the City of Cape Town’s Open Data Portal visit //odp.capetown.gov.za

Summary

– Recognising that effective decision-making relies on access to accurate data, the City of Cape Town established an Open Data Portal. By providing free access to a range of informative and user-friendly datasets, the city aims to stimulate public engagement and growth opportunities for the benefit of the wider community.