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A roadmap is an essential part of a healthy API ecosystem. The transparency and communication that come with providing a roadmap for your API and open data initiative will go a long way in building trust with your community.

The City of Philadelphia is sharing its roadmap of data sets that it intends to open in the coming months, by providing a release calendar using cloud project management service Trello. In addition to seeing the datasets the city intends to release, you can also see any data sets that have already been published.

According to the open data roadmap, Philadelphia is releasing data on street closures, energy consumption, evacuation routes, campaign finance, bike racks, budgets, expenditures and city employee salaries to name just a few.

This type of transparency doesn’t just build trust with citizens and developers, it provides an incentive for the city government to deliver high quality public data, in a meaningful and timely manner. There is still a lot of work to be done once this data is available, in order to develop quality analysis, visualizations, other APIs and tools that can be used in mobile and web applications. But what Philly is doing is a great start.

The City of Philadelphia’s approach to its open data roadmap is good to see. It is something all cities should have, as well as all API owners. Your roadmap will set expectations within your community, guide your own initiatives and provide a healthy blueprint for moving your efforts forward.




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