I am looking for examples of how open data is helping to drive community development, with a focus on the United States.

We are seeking examples across a broad range of community development domains, including:

  • Economic development,
  • Neighborhood revitalization,
  • Community organizing,
  • Community development financing,
  • Workforce development, and
  • Programs to help transform communities of high poverty in area such as education, health and human services, housing, public safety, and education.

These could be examples of nonprofits, citizens, governments, or other community development actors using open data as a part of their work. They could also be examples of businesses and consumers leveraging open data in ways that help further community development objectives.

2 Answers 2


I'm not sure about specific examples in the USA, but the OpenStreetMap had some outstanding success in various countries. There are bound to be disaster stories in the US as well.

A famous example is the Haiti earthquake. It also has nice visuals.

Less known is perhaps the community mapping in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: http://www.opendta.org/Pages/Initiatives/initiative-mapping-dar-es-salaam.aspx http://blogs.worldbank.org/ic4d/node/537

An open data platform that is cited numerous times for its success is Ushahidi.


In Oakland we used a mix of open data and proprietary to plan out and implement a Community Land Trust- the data (foreclosures- public data sold by private firms, not open) helped to make the case for federal funding, and allowed us to target neighborhoods of high need (assessors data-open) as well as to purchase foreclosed homes while avoiding the most dangerous street corners (crime data we opened).

Check oakclt.org - we own 17 homes now and have sold 9 to moderate income families, the homes will be permanently affordable.

We have tons of other stories about data driven community development & open data..

Data from data.acgov.org and data.openoakland.org

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