New #ODimpact Release: How is Open Data Creating Economic Opportunities and Solving Public Problems?

Andrew Young at The GovLab: “Last month, the GovLab and Omidyar Network launched Open Data’s Impact (, a custom-built repository offering a range of in-depth case studies on global open data projects. The initial launch of theproject featured the release of 13 open data impact case studies – ten undertaken by the GovLab, as well asthree case studies from Becky Hogge (@barefoot_techie), an independent researcher collaborating withOmidyar Network. Today, we are releasing a second batch of 12 case studies – nine case studies from theGovLab and three from Hogge…

The batch of case studies being revealed today examines two additional dimensions of impact. They find that:

  • Open data is creating new opportunities for citizens and organizations, by fostering innovation and promoting economic growth and job creation.
  • Open data is playing a role in solving public problems, primarily by allowing citizens and policymakers access to new forms of data-driven assessment of the problems at hand. It also enables data-driven engagement, producing more targeted interventions and enhanced collaboration.

The specific impacts revealed by today’s release of case studies are wide-ranging, and include both positive and negative transformations. We have found that open data has enabled:

  • The creation of new industries built on open weather data released by the United States NationalOceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
  • The generation of billions of dollars of economic activity as a result of the Global Positioning System(GPS) being opened to the global public in the 1980s, and the United Kingdom’s Ordnance Survey geospatial offerings.
  • A more level playing field for small businesses in New York City seeking market research data.
  • The coordinated sharing of data among government and international actors during the response to theEbola outbreak in Sierra Leone.
  • The identification of discriminatory water access decisions in the case Kennedy v the City of Zanesville, resulting in a $10.9 million settlement for the African-American plaintiffs.
  • Increased awareness among Singaporeans about the location of hotspots for dengue fever transmission.
  • Improved, data-driven emergency response following earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand.
  • Troubling privacy violations on Eightmaps related to Californians’ political donation activity….(More)”

All case studies available at