Technology Entrepreneurs Discuss Ways To Use Public Data

by Devin Katayama on December 12, 2011

A local entrepreneur is holding a transportation technology camp Monday to discuss ways of using public data to create new services. The event is attracting local officials who are exited by the possibilities of joining the public and private sectors.

Michael Schnuerle is founder of MetroMapper.org (pictured) and GovMapper.com; both are websites that use public data to make information easier to access.

Schnuerle was introduced at the partnership announcement between Louisville and Google, which allows TARC bus routes to be tracked through Google Maps. As the city makes more specific data available, programmers can use that information to create more services, said Schnuerle.

“So for instance, if you’re at a bus stop it could show you when the bus is coming, but also what’s around you. So is there a restaurant around you, you could wait at? Is there a coffee shop? What’s the crime like? Is this a safe place to catch a bus?” he said.

Louisville’s Director of Innovation Ted Smith is expected to attend the event. One likely outcome is the request for more data from different areas of government, which is a good thing, he said.

“This is exactly the dynamic you want. You want to get to a place where your tax dollar is well spent. Because we’re not just releasing random kinds of information and we’re also not releasing information that doesn’t have a stake holder or market,” he said.

The focus of Monday’s meeting will be on transportation data, but that’s just the beginning, said Schnuerle.

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