Laws and Reports
In many other cities, Open Data is a technical policy or an executive order. In New York City, it’s the law. On March 7, 2012, former Mayor Bloomberg signed Local Law 11 of 2012, more commonly known as the “Open Data Law,” which amended the New York City administrative code to mandate that all public data be made available on a single web portal by the end of 2018.
In November 2015, January 2016, and December 2017, Mayor de Blasio approved several amendments to the Open Data Law. These laws, which include stronger requirements on data dictionaries and data retention, response timelines for public requests, and an extension of the Open Data mandate into perpetuity, help make it easier for New Yorkers to access City data online and anchor the city’s transparency initiatives around Open Data.
The Open Data team, which consists of the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA) and Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), is responsible for carrying out these laws.
- Gale A. Brewer
- Lewis A. Fidler
- Vincent J. Gentile
- Sara M. Gonzalez
- Letitia James
- Brad S. Lander
- Annabel Palma
- Michael C. Nelson
- Jessica S. Lappin
- Daniel Dromm
- Daniel R. Garodnick
- Diana Reyna
- Darlene Mealy
- Albert Vann
- Robert Jackson
- Stephen T. Levin
- Fernando Cabrera
- James F. Gennaro
- Jumaane D. Williams
- James G. Van Bramer
- Ydanis A. Rodriguez
- Daniel J. Halloran III
- The Public Advocate (Mr. de Blasio)
The Open Data Law is a statutory mandate that enacts one of the most robust Open Data policies in the world. The law and its amendments form a framework for ensuring that all eligible City datasets are published by the end of 2018.
Open Data Law: Local Law 11 of 2012 mandates that all “public” data be made freely available on a single web portal by December 31, 2018. According to the law, a “public data set” is any comprehensive collection of data that is maintained on a computer system by or on behalf of a City agency.
Extending data publishing mandate: Local Law 251 of 2017 requires all public datasets, including ones that agencies identify after the 2018 deadline, to be published on the Open Data Portal. It mandates that Agency commissioners appoint an official Open Data Coordinator.
Retention and Archiving: Local Law 106 of 2015 mandates the preservation of the New York City historical record as represented by the City’s official data.
Data Dictionaries: Local Law 107 of 2015 requires every dataset on Open Data to have a plain language data dictionary.
Geospatial Standards: Local Law 108 of 2015 requires that every dataset containing street addresses also contain coordinates and political boundaries.
Timely updates: Local Law 110 of 2015 requires all data published on agency websites to be included and kept up-to-date on Open Data.
FOIL responses including data: Local Law 7 of 2016 and Local Law 244 of 2017 require agencies to review Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests containing data to determine whether they contained new public datasets that could be published on Open Data.
Examinations and Verifications: Local Law 8 of 2016 requires MODA to examine three mayoral agencies each year to verify that all public datasets have been disclosed.
Browse reports released by New York City’s Open Data team, including the annual agency compliance plan that is now published on September 15 of each year.
- 2013 Open Data Plan
- 2014 Open Data Plan
- 2015 Open Data Plan (Open Data For All)
- Open Data for All: 2016 Progress Report and Plan
- Open Data for All: 2017 Progress Report and Plan (also available in PDF here)
- NYC Data at Work: 2018 Open Data for All Progress Report and Plan
- The Next Decade of Open Data: 2019 Open Data for All Progress Report and Plan
- Connecting New Yorkers: 2020 Open Data for All Progress Report and Plan
- Open Data for All: 2021 Progress Report and Plan
- Examination and Verification 2016 Findings Report
- Examination and Verification 2016 Results Workbook
- Examination and Verification 2017 Findings Report
- Examination and Verification 2017 Findings Workbooks
- Examination and Verification 2018 Report
- Examination and Verification 2018 Workbooks
- Examination and Verification 2019 Summary Report
- Examination and Verification 2019 Summary Workbook
Open Data User Research
Want to better understand who uses your City’s data? As part of the de Blasio administration’s Open Data for All initiative, the Open Data team regularly conducts research on users to identify opportunities for improving engagement.
- “Empowering NYC Communities through the Use of NYC Open Data” (2016 Columbia SIPA capstone surveying Community-Based Organizations’ usage of Open Data)
- Reducing Data Poverty in NYC: Achieving Open Data for All (2016 NYU CUSP capstone quantifying gaps in Open Data representation at Community Board level)
- Reboot Spring 2017 User Research Report
- Open Data for All: 2017 Progress Report and Plan (also available in PDF). See especially: “User Stories”
- 2018 Web Traffic Research: User Journey Analysis
- Data Design Challenges and Opportunities for NYC Community Boards (2018 BetaNYC report documenting community board use of open data)
- BetaNYC’s Civic Innovation Fellows Community Board Technology Needs Report 2018 (2018 BetaNYC report documenting community board technology needs)