Open Data Field Guide

A comprehensive guide to ensuring your open data program serves you and your citizens.

With Insight From: City of Chicago, City of New York, City of Edmonton, State of Maryland, State of Colorado, Code for America, The World Bank, City of Baltimore, State of Oregon, and more.

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Who Should Read This Guide, and Why

Open data has forever transformed how governments deliver information to citizens. Find out who should read our Open Data Field Guide and why.

Chapter One

Why Does My Organization Need Open Data?

Learn the history of open data, why it is important now, and how it will impact our lives in the 21st century.

Chapter Two

Define Clear and Measurable Goals

Increase your chances of success by defining clear and measurable goals for your open data initiative.

Chapter Three

Assemble a Winning Team

Learn how to explain the benefits of your open data initiative to colleagues and win their support.

Chapter Four

Develop Your Open Data Policy

Learn the basic structure of an open data policy and how it can help move your initiative forward.

Chapter Five

The Data Plan

Which data do you release and when? Get tips and read about successful approaches from leaders in the field.

Chapter Six

Open Data Implementation in Six Steps

Simplify your implementation efforts by focusing on phases. Read examples of others' success.

Chapter Seven

Engage Your Community

Promoting your initiative and getting developers involved - find out the best practices for each.

Chapter Eight

An Outstanding Citizen Experience

Make the data easy to visualize, and put it directly into citizens' hands. Follow these tips on data curation.


Join the Open Data Community

Stay involved in the open data community and keep learning from leaders in the field.


Acknowledgements & Glossary

Meet the thought leaders who contributed to the Guide and read our glossary of terms.