As the NSW state government launches its revamped Open Data Dashboard website, the state's finance and services minister Dominic Perrottet has revealed that public demand for data is mounting, with Transport for NSW alone receiving up 40 million requests for data per month.
"Open data has been embraced by tech gurus and developers alike and we are now seeing data from agencies like Transport for NSW receive up to 40 million requests per month," said Perrottet, who was appointed to the portfolio in April, following the cabinet reshuffle in the wake of former premier Barry O'Farrell's resignation.
"Another good example of this has been with the NSW State Records search API. Which was accessed 17,229 times in May this year, compared to 7,129 timed for the same period last year," he said. "Every year the NSW government collects and manages a growing amount of data, and every year the public demand for that data to be used in innovative ways."
The revamped site provides information on the recently added datasets, case studies, news stories, and examples of how datasets have been successfully turned into apps, as well as updates from social media feeds.
According to Perrottet, the new platform includes greater detail and additional commentary around the possible users and interpretations of the available datasets.
"[This] will make it easier for people to use them" he said. "The dashboard is also responsive, making it easier to view on mobile devices."
Perrottet said he believed that embracing open data and offering the public a forum to easily access the available datasets will help drive the state's digital economy.
"The creation of the Open Data Dashboard makes it easier than ever before for the public to access NSW government data," he said. "This is an exciting development, because as we continue releasing data on this dashboard we will drive customer-focused server delivery and grow the digital economy.
"We have already seen a glimpse of what is possible through the success of NSW Globe, which displays NSW location-based data," he said. "These kinds of innovations would have unimaginable just a decade ago."
For Perrottet, the attention the state government is paying to its open data portal is a reflection of its commitment to ongoing ICT Strategy, of which open data is a key feature.
NSW Government Open Data Dashboard re-launch comes only weeks after Australia's federal government launched a single platform containing a number of geospatial datasets as part of its National Map Open Data Initiative.