Wichita Uses Open Source Tool for Open Data Policy Feedback

The city of Wichita was able to capture citizen feedback right into its open data policy document using an open source tool called Madison.

WICHITA, KAN.-- After being spurred to openness by a citizen group called Open Wichita, the city pursued an open data policy in a very open and cost effective way--with open source tools.

The Washington, DC-based non-profit OpenGov Foundation created the tool Madison to allow civic leaders to post legislation online that citizens can easily comment on. It's as easy to use as Google docs.

OpenGov helped the city set up a portal at drafts.wichita.gov.

"The process of creating an Open Data Policy within Madison has gone very well. [It captured] many comments, edits and annotations about what people wanted to see in the policy and what areas they felt were important," Michael Mayta, chief information officer for the city of Wichita, told EffcientGov by email.

Part of Wichita's proposed open data policy is that the city will look to use open source technologies when its feasible to do so. The city is currently updating some of its IT systems, including its water and sewer utility billing system. However for that, the city selected CIS by Advanced.

"But does it provide for open access to data? The answer to that is yes, so we can disseminate that data once we have a strategy and process in place to do so," said Mayta.

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