A man speaks in front of a crowd at a Civic Hall event.

Dear New Yorkers,

Every time you call 311, register for a construction permit, or see your streets cleaned, you’re seeing your government at work. You’re also seeing the creation of public data.

Your right to access government information has long been a cornerstone of modern civics, even before that information was stored in databases. Access to government data allows you to understand what your public institutions do for you and how your tax dollars are spent.

New York City is a global leader in the public availability of government data. In 1993, when the World Wide Web was still in its infancy, the NYC Commission on Public Information and Communication published the first-of-its-kind “Public Data Directory.” Two decades later, the City implemented its pioneering 2012 “Open Data Law,” which requires all City agencies to publish every public dataset they maintain on the Open Data Portal.

This report provides an update on the City’s work to make that vision a reality. In it, you’ll find specific examples from some of the 90 City agencies that are becoming more transparent than ever by publishing new datasets.

But the real promise of Open Data is not about what the City does: It’s about New Yorkers like you. Our data is not truly “open” unless it is accessible and useful for everyone. Over the past two years, our Open Data for All strategy has helped realize the promise of open information by putting data into the hands of New Yorkers — land use advocates, small businesses, community boards, CUNY students, researchers, inter-faith organizers, and people from all five boroughs who are using open data to make a difference in their communities. We hope their stories, featured in this report, will inspire you to think about how open data can make positive change in your community.

Most importantly, this report is not a one-way street: We want to hear from you. Request a dataset for release. Leave a comment on the Open Data Portal. Find problems in your community and solve them with Open Data — or let us know how we can. NYC Open Data is about creating a dialogue between you and your City. Five years after open data became law, the program thrives because New Yorkers like you are engaging openly with their government and the wealth of data it creates.

We hope you’ll join us in our continued efforts to make Open Data for All.

—NYC Open Data team

Share your feedback

Please share your reactions and ideas on this year's report by selecting "offer thoughts on this report" below. We also featured seven stories of New Yorkers using Open Data, but these examples are far from exhaustive. We want to hear from you: select "share your open data story" below to tell us how you use Open Data.

The comment period closed on September 1, 2017.

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